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Drought Makes Early Start of the Fire Season Likely in Northern California

Expanding and intensifying drought in Northern California portends an early start to the wildfire season, and the National Interagency Fire Center is predicting above-normal potential for large wildfires by midsummer.

Mountain snowpack has been below average across the High Sierra, southern Cascades and the Great Basin, and the agency warns that these areas need to be monitored closely as fuels continue to dry out. The agency also cites a warm, dry pattern in Oregon and central and eastern Washington, and assigns all of these areas a higher-than-average likelihood of wildfires in July.