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'Above average' wildfire activity is forecast through October

'Above average' wildfire activity is forecast through October
Upland Fire Capt. Joe Burna watches as a tanker drops fire retardant to stop a wildfire from jumping over Highway 94 near Potrero, Calif. in June. (Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Southern California can expect above average wildfire activity through the end of October due to the shortage of rain and extremely dry vegetation in many areas, the National Interagency Fire Center said.

The forecast comes during what already has been a busy fire season.

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During the first six months of this year, there were nearly 3,400 wildfires statewide — roughly 500 above normal— that burned roughly 57,000 acres.

According to the forecast released Monday, "significant wildland fire potential will continue to be focused [during August] in the finer fuel and brush areas of California and the Great Basin."

While much of the Northwest, northern Rockies, Rocky Mountains and Great Basin are expected to return to normal fire activity through September, the report said "California will continue to see elevated potential due to long term dryness.…

"By October and November ... Southern California will continue to see elevated significant fire potential and will also see the persistent threat of offshore wind events."

gary.robbins@sduniontribune.com

Robbins writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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