California suffers droughts and dry weather so when fires do get started, they spread and last for a while. Some of the reasons fires have started include agricultural fireworks (intended to scare wildlife away), lightning, intentional debris burning, equipment use, power lines, arson and vehicle fires that spread. The forests and brush that are typical of California landscape aid in the spread of these fires. It is the special combination of climate, urban environment and vegetation that fuels these fires, as can be seen by the common sources of fires. Additionally, the vegetation called chaparral that is characteristic to the California area regrows quickly so even a short time after being devastated by a fire, it can serve as fuel again.
California has a “recipe” that makes it ideal for fire. It’s a dry area, in a drought, highly populated, and is prone to thunderstorms. Some are caused by careless people, others are caused by nature.
In a heavily populated area such as California, fire crews work year round to suppress seasonal fires. However, this results in a build up of brush and fuel for potential future fires and when those fires ignite, we have a severe forest fire that is very difficult to contain.
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