Typically, the rates for natural disasters to occur in the nation spike around a certain time of the year. There’s a higher chance for tornadoes to form in the Midwest around early summer while hurricane season lasts from late summer to mid-fall. For a while, you could say the same thing about California’s wildfire seasons. While there were a few occasionally on questionable dates, most burn damage usually occurred around fall.
However, recent years have made Californians question the probabilities. Even though October and November wildfires still tend to have more acres burned and lives lost, there’s been an increasing amount of wildfires happening around July and even the earlier winter months such as February. Many residents wonder if it’s a threat that needs to be taken seriously throughout the whole year, and a recent study might confirm some of their fears.
Winter rains won’t work
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a study analyzing the effect winter storms have on preventing wildfires on March 4, 2019. They found that before the 20th century, years with high amounts of precipitation usually had mild wildfire seasons because the winter rains weakened the chances of multiple droughts. However, over the last 100 years, the correlation decreased significantly to the point where the connection is now almost nonexistent.
Researchers behind the study found that this was due to a combination of factors such as climate change, the state’s fire management and human error. This has become even more apparent in recent years as California still had plenty of wildfires in 2016 and 2017 despite both years seeing a significant amount of rainfall.
What should homeowners do?
Scientists emphasizing the unpredictable nature of California’s wildfires further demonstrates why you should properly prepare yourself for a potential disaster. You can’t just refresh on your safety knowledge once fall rolls around. You and your family need to know what to do when you hear news of a devastating wildfire in your area during any point of the year. Keep an eye out on the news for any burn damage in nearby cities and have a sufficient escape plan ready.
You also need to know how you can recover financially if you end up losing your house to the flames. Make sure you know someone that can help you file a claim to the insurance company and challenge it if they try to hold back assets you rightfully deserve.