While wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the West is starting earlier and ending later each year.
Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend. Warmer spring and summer temperatures, reduced snowpack, and earlier spring snowmelt create longer and more intense dry seasons that increase moisture stress on vegetation and make forests more susceptible to severe wildfire. The length of fire season is estimated to have increased by 75 days across the Sierras and seems to correspond with an increase in the extent of forest fires across the state.
NIFC predicts portions of the Coast Ranges, Sierra, and Cascades in California increasing to above normal fire danger in June and July and continuing through September.