WeatherFire Watch


California wildfire season bleeds into winter

California Wildfire
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 22:37:01-05

The Colorado Fire burning in Monterey County is an example that wildfires in California are no longer isolated to the summer months.

It's something firefighters have been warning about for years.

"In California, we've been talking about year-round fire season for the last 5-10 years," said Adan Orozco, CAL FIRE SLO's Public Information Officer.

Before that, it was more rare to see a fire in the months of November through January. Now, as the Colorado Fire continues to burn, fueled by wind and rough terrain, winter fires are a new California norm.

That fact has come to the attention of the White House, as well. On Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris announced billions of dollars in wildfire relief money.

That relief package includes:

  • $5 billion to fight wildfire risk and the response
  • $1.3 billion to disaster relief
  • $600 million to California
  • $600 million to federal firefighter salaries

"There have always been wildfires but the frequency and the intensity and the ubiquity of wildfires just in the last few years is extraordinary and it requires our federal government to see what is happening and act in real-time," Vice President Harris explained.

The vice president visited San Bernadino with Governor Gavin Newsom where they made it clear the priority is to be proactive in fighting these fires.

Locally, this funding could make a difference for CAL FIRE's brush clearing plans they already have in place.