‘Double-Edged Sword’: Why the Badly Needed Rains in California Could Fuel Catastrophic Fires

Deep underneath the sodden soils and the berms of snow that now coat California, fuels for fire are waiting to sprout. Grasses and other quick-growing vegetation, spurred by the downpours that saturated the state at the start of the year, quickly turn to kindling as the weather warms.

“When that rain comes – and it came last month – that results in significant fuel load increases,” said Isaac Sanchez, a CalFire battalion chief.