Burned down remains of homes are seen from an areal photo in the Keswick neighborhood of Redding on 10 August 2018. Fire crews have made progress against the biggest blaze in California history but officials say the fire won't be fully contained until September. Photo: Michael Burke / AP Photo

By Alex Sosnowski
14 August 2018

(AccuWeather) – A couple of very tough months are ahead for the wildfire season and firefighting efforts in the western United States, especially California.

Approximately 110 large wildfires are burning across the U.S., and most of these fires are burning in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Countless acres of brush, which growth was spurred on by winter and spring moisture, have had all summer to dry out.

Extreme heat, dryness, blazing sunshine, and accidental and intentional incidents by humans have already contributed to a formidable fire year.

As much as 90 percent of wildfires in the U.S. are caused by humans, according to the National Park Service.

On Monday, 13 August 2018, it was announced that a firefighter, who was from the Draper City, Utah, Fire Department, was killed while battling the Mendocino Complex Fire. At least six firefighters have died battling wildfires in California this season.

However, even as sunshine and average temperatures decline moving forward into the autumn, episodes of wind traditionally increase during September and October.

Temperatures can still spike to triple-digit levels during the first part of autumn. Temperatures have topped 100 F in Los Angeles well into October, and have climbed into the 90s in San Francisco during October.

In coastal areas of California, extreme temperatures during the late summer and autumn are often accompanied by gusty Santa Ana, Diablo, and Sundowner winds. […]

Recurring drought and humid activity have essentially extended the fire season to a year-round concern. […]

The great number and size of the existing fires are producing a vast area of smoke.

Light winds and heat tend to trap the smoke in populated areas.

"The current smoke event is delivering the longest period of unhealthy air quality since Environmental Protection Agency record began in 2000," according to the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon. [more]

Worst may be yet to come amid an extreme California wildfire season



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