"Last week was Wildfire Awareness Week in California, a time when firefighters and forest managers travel up and down the state talking about fire risk and public safety. Usually that would mean wildfire conditions were just picking up, with higher temperatures drying out fuels nurtured by winter rain and snowpack.
That's not the case this year, though. For much of the Golden State, last year's fire season never really ended.
'We knew we were under very different conditions when we started January, literally the first week of January, with a 350-acre fire in Humboldt County,' said Ken Pimlott, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Typically, he said, Humboldt in midwinter gets more precipitation than anywhere else in the country."