California’s 2022 Fire Season: “A Remarkably Different Year”

By Sarah Bardeen
Public Policy Institute of California
December 13, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scott Stephens

This year’s fire season was relatively quiet—a welcome change of pace for fire-weary Californians. But what does it mean in the larger scheme of things? We asked UC Berkeley professor Scott Stephens for insights. “2022 fire season has indeed been a remarkably different year. We didn’t have lightning igniting hundreds of fires simultaneously, and the weather was a little better—we had a six or seven day period of the highest temperatures ever recorded in California. Luckily that heat didn’t come with wind this year. We have seen more prescribed burns and thinning in the last five years, and some of these fuel treatments reduced fire behavior to allow for more effective suppression. Also, CalFire increased resources for initial attack, picking up fires as early as possible, and that helped—though we all know that’s not a solution to the situation we’re in. But it was a factor,” said Stephens. 

Read More