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Fire in Our Region

By on April 10, 2018 in Around Our Valley

This is a great article from
Los Padres ForestWatch

A Unique Landscape

Our region is home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the country. From the southern stands of coast redwoods sheltered between dry mountains along the Big Sur coast to the chaparral-covered slopes of the Topatopa Mountains near Ojai and Ventura — the Los Padres National Forest and nearby public lands have an incredible diversity of plants and wildlife that can only be found in our little corner of California. This mix of terrain and a dry Mediterranean climate is what creates the blend of chaparral and pockets of mixed-conifer forests found across our region.

Each year after the rainy season ends, a long and dry summer and fall result in conditions suitable for wildfires to spread once they are ignited. Fire season is one that central coast residents have come to know all too well. But why does our area burn? Is what we are experiencing natural? What is fueling the frequency and intensity of the fires in recent decades? And how do we protect our communities?

These are some of the questions we have been tackling for over a decade using the best available science. Below we look at the answers to some of these questions and how we can move forward to best protect people, property, and ecosystems.

Why Central and Southern California Burn

Our region is characterized by a Mediterranean climate: mild, wet winters followed by dry, hot summers. In the several months following the last rain, humidity in the region steadily drops — especially inland.

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