Naturally I took interest in California fires since over the past decade Firefighter Blog has focused on the wildfires within the Golden State.
Every geographic area of the state has had its share of major wildfires over the past decade helped in large part by a 7 year drought in the middle of the decade. What has not burned interests me as much as what has already burned. Two areas stand out to me as most vulnerable. Below I took the liberty of marking up iDV Solutions’ map to highlight those two areas.
Perhaps the geographic spot most vulnerable to a major wildfire within California at the moment is the central Sierra’s that include the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. If you take a look at the current U.S. drought map the central section of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is experiencing drought.
Note the area between the 75,000 acre Telegraph Fire in 2008 and the 150,000 acre McNally Fire in 2002. The area between those fires is roughly 170 miles and encompasses the southern boundaries of Yosemite National Park and all of the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. The single most vulnerable city in this field from my point of view is Oakhurst.
The second area of concern is bounded by the 244,000 acre Basin Complex Fire of 2008 to the north and the 240,000 acre Zaca Fire of 2007 to the south. This area is mostly within the Los Padres National Forest from the southern Big Sur coast to just south of Solvang 175 miles to the south including Vandenberg Air Force Base. The community most at risk in this assessment is Cambria California.