Fire on the Mountain
Drought conditions threaten Big Sur...again.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
A 15-acre vegetation fire on Big Sur Pias Ranch Road gave nearby residents a scare April 19. But the blaze had bigger implications, underscoring the risk of early wildfires across California this year.
Big Sur is still recovering from last summer's disastrous Basin Complex Fire, which began unseasonably early in late June 2008, lasted for more than a month and burned almost 163,000 acres.
Continued drought conditions this year stoke worries of a repeat: Though precipitation in 2009 has been higher than the previous two years, it's still at only 80 percent of normal levels.
"California is bracing for another year of bad wildfires as a thin mountain snowpack, parched vegetation and an early heat wave signal a third consecutive year of drought," warns an April 22 article in USA Today.
If drought conditions persist, farmers, residents and businesses may be asked to scale back their water use.