The snowpack in the Sierras is at 120% of its mid-June average, which is good news for California’s water woes. But this impressive wet season has come at a huge cost.
As we prepare to welcome 2019, I find it important to reflect on some of the key industry issues of 2018 as they provide a prelude to the focal-points and challenges our industry is sure to experience in the New Year.
It is impossible to overstate the tragedy of the Camp and Woolsey fires. The road to recovery will be a long, expensive, and painful one and, unfortunately, rebuilding is only the first of many costs. In addition to the obvious aftermath of a wildfire, there is a subtle yet salient issue these communities will now face: tainted water quality.
A parched preceding year paired with exceptionally hot summer months set California up for a disastrous and historic 2018 fire season. So far in 2018, Cal Fire has recorded over 876,400 acres burned. That’s more than four times the acreage burned compared to this time last year, which Cal Fire reported as just over 228,800 acres.
It is obvious that these fires are a threat to people, wildlife, structures, and our heroic firefighters, but what is less obvious is the danger they pose to our water quality.