California is enjoying fewer extreme wildfires than it has in years, which experts attribute to a combination of summer rain, calm weather and increased forest management.
The current ongoing two-year dry period in California, punctuated by the third-driest water year on record for the Central Sierra, is part of California’s overall arid fate so far in the 21st century, according to the state Department of Water Resources.
The Golden State’s hydrology now increasingly resembles conditions in the Colorado River Basin this century, where multiple, consecutive, drier-than-average years are mixed with an occasional wet year. California’s last wet water year was 2016-2017, the second-wettest on record.
The California Department of Water Resources has marked 2021 as the third-driest water year, a period marked from October to March, on record for the Golden State, potentially setting up another deadly wildfire season after last year’s record setting blazes.