photo of northern CA fire published on Lost Coast Outpost
It's just hours into August and the annual California state of emergency has already been declared due to fires.
From the AP:
Blazes raging in forests and woodlands across California have taken the life of a firefighter and forced hundreds of people to flee their homes as an army of firefighters continue to battle them from the air and the ground.
Twenty-three large fires, many sparked by lightning strikes, were burning across Northern California on Saturday, said state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant. Some 8,000 firefighters were attempting to subdue them, something made incredibly difficult by several years of drought that have dried out California.
"The conditions and fire behavior we're seeing at 10 in the morning is typically what we'd see in late afternoon in late August and September," said Nick Schuler, a division chief with the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "But because of the dry conditions, because of the drought-stricken vegetation accompanied by the steep terrain and winds, we're seeing fire activity that's abnormal for this time of year."
USA Today reports:
Freakishly hot, dry weather in the Pacific Northwest is killing millions of fish in the overheated waters of the region's rivers and streams.
Sockeye salmon losses in the Columbia River due to the heat are in the hundreds of thousands, said Jeff Fryer, senior fishery scientist with the river's Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. The fish were returning from the ocean to spawn when the "unprecedented" warm water killed them, he said.
Water temperatures in the Columbia River — part of which runs along the border of Oregon and Washington — reached the low 70s shortly after July 4, something that doesn't usually happen until August, if at all, Fryer said.
Locally as well, the salmon counts are down, the temps are up, and the fires are spreading. There's a highway closed to our north, and power outages and fluctuations. Some folks in Eureka and elsewhere in Humboldt County report ashes falling from the sky, as more lightning strike fires are reported. Our clouded skies in Arcata Friday night had an eerie yellow tinge.
With all the anticipation of an El Nino winter, the current reality is the drought. Some isolated localities and of course poor people in general are suffering more, but we are all, for example, paying much higher prices for produce, and conserving water. The good news is that as a whole California is meeting and exceeding water conservation targets.
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