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Higher than normal wildfire activity is expected across the U.S. West Coast, the Southwest and portions of Idaho and Montana during the summer of 2013.
Wildfire experts are forecasting that there will be above normal wildfire activity across portions of the western U.S. during the summer of 2013. Areas where higher than normal wildfire activity is expected include the West Coast states, the Southwest, and portions of Idaho and Montana. The Predictive Services Unit at the National Interagency Fire issued the forecast (pdf) on May 1, 2013.
When it comes to Southern California's increasingly perilous fire season, you can blame both the lack of rain and the little rain we did have.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Chapman University said satellite data show the effects of a steady and largely forgettable rainfall during a roughly four-day period at the end of January.
JPL scientist Son Nghiem said the rain came just as much of the vegetation throughout the region was awakening from a dormant stage.
The rain provoked a growth in vegetation that, followed by a hot, near-record dry period, simply resulted in more fuel for potential wildfires. The situation was a true "double jeopardy" one, Nghiem said Monday.
"This timing enhanced vegetation growth early this year, particularly in Ventura County, supplying significant new fire fuel despite one of the driest overall rainfall seasons on record," he said. "Had the rains fallen earlier, when the vegetation was in a dormant state, the effects would have been minimal."
Los Angeles is prone to 13 of 16 possible federally-identified natural and man-made threats. Los Angeles is particularly vulnerable to the destructive affects wildfires, flooding, mudslides and earthquakes. Because of the many threats that Los Angeles faces, the importance of readiness as a city and for residents cannot be overstated. Part of disaster preparedness is being aware of the kinds of hazards and disasters you might be subject to living in as a Los Angeles resident. Here’s a list.
Earthquakes | Fire | Severe Weather and Flooding | Extreme Heat |
Extreme Cold | Landslides | Hurricane | Tornado | Tsunami |
Terrorism | Cyber Crime | Public Health |Chemical Emergencies |
• Each year, fire kills more Americans than all other natural disasters combined.
• Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
• Cooking is the major cause of home fires in the U.S.
• About 2 million fires are reported each year, though thousands more go unreported.
• Wildfires are most common in the summer, fall and during droughts when branches, leaves and other materials dry out, leaving them susceptible to earily catching fire.
Hot desert winds could fan fires that quakes inevitably cause, overwhelming fire departments, even as ancient water pipelines burst, engineers and architects say.