Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 12:30

As California sinks deeper into drought it already has had more than 900 additional wildfires than at this point in 2020, which was a record-breaking year that saw more than 4% of the state’s land scorched by flames.

The danger prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to propose spending a record $2 billion on wildfire mitigation. That’s double what he had proposed in January.

“Clearly we recognize we need to step up our efforts here in the state of California and that’s what we began to do early this year,” he said Monday.

California’s mountains and foothills are expected to see above-normal wildfire potential from June through August and possibly into the fall, which is the usual peak fire season, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center and the Southwest Coordination Center.

While some parts of the Southwest saw cool and moist conditions over the past month, that wasn’t the case in California. said Chuck Maxwell, a meteorologist and predictive services manager with the Southwest Coordination Center in Albuquerque. About 94% of California has drought conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor that measures conditions.

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