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Fire Safe Almanac - Early Rains Mean Only Temporary Relief

posted Sep 25, 2014, 2:39 PM by Joe Christy
    Last week we had upwards of half an inch of rain – from a storm predicted to give us up to a tenth of an inch. We had another half inch, and the predictions leading up to it were virtually identical. It's the weather, it does whatever it wants to.
    The rain is certainly refreshing and way more than welcome, however it's a long way from dropping the wildfire risk for more than a few hours. While there were standing puddles in our shaded fuel breaks the day after last week's rain, by the end of the following day, the fuel moisture had dropped into the single digits again, equal to that when the 2013 Rim Fire in Yosemite began. 
    The rule of thumb used to be that fire season in Santa Cruz County ended once we had had three inches of rain in two weeks, but we are now in in the 17th month of a fire season that began in April 2013, so 1,000 and 10,000 hour fuels are bone-dry. Please remain vigilant and fire safe.