California Braces for Another Bad Wildfire Season

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Big clouds of smoke over moutntains
The Bond Fire burns in the Silverado Canyon area of Orange County on December 3, 2020 near Irvine, California. The 7,000-acre wildfire broke out along with a number of other fires in Southern California amid gusty Santa Ana winds in the region.  (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino counties on Wednesday as California’s record-dry conditions continue. Fuel moisture levels are some of the lowest the state has seen, paving the way for increased fire risk and more intense fires when they occur. Earlier this month, Newsom unveiled a $536 million plan to help prevent future fires. We get an expert’s analysis on what to expect this fire season and what the state could and should do to prepare for it.


Adam Kochanski, assistant professor, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center, San Jose State University