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Wildfire Risk Likely To Increase Into Late September As Hot, Dry Weather Builds Across West

The western United States remains a tinderbox, and wildfire conditions may worsen as September weather patterns progress. A persistent northward bulge in the jet stream allowed temperatures to soar to well above average and at times record levels in parts of the West this summer. That same weather pattern may return later in September. Most of the large wildfires in California that have burned 875,000 acres as of Aug. 28 are now mostly contained. However, multiple large fires in the Northwest continue to burn with with substantially less containment.

Record-Hot August, Dry Year Leave High Fire Risk In County

This month will go down as San Diego’s hottest August on record. It was the second hottest month, any time of year, in city history. The month set or tied 15 daily records for either the highest maximum or minimum temperature. The August heat follows a similarly toasty July, making the July/August combination the second hottest in city history. And the heat comes near the tail end of the second driest rainfall season on record, dating back to 1850. The heat and the prolonged dryness set up the county for a challenging fall, which historically is when the region’s biggest and most destructive wildfires have struck.