Sparse Sierra Snow Pack Could Mean Early Start to Fire Season
Sierra News Online
MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — NASA satellite images taken this past week from more than 400 miles above Earth show snow pack levels in the Sierras at just 54 percent of their historical average for this time of the year.
The most recent data is sparking concerns that parts of California are slipping back into a drought — and that the 2020 fire season could begin much sooner.
Related Story: Dry January Puts a Hurt on California Snowpack“Forested areas, especially those with a lot of dead trees, will dry out much sooner without as much snow pack or runoff when the warmer weather comes,” warned one fire official. “We could be looking at a very active 2020 fire season in the Sierra.”
The recent NASA photos provide a clear indication of how much less snow has fallen over the Sierras this winter compared to last. At this time in 2019, the Sierra snow pack was at 147 percent of its historical average, according to the National Weather Service.
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