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Recent rains likely put an end to Bay Area fire season

Recent rains put an end to Bay Area fire season
Recent rains likely put an end to Bay Area fire season 02:57

SAN MATEO COUNTY -- The recent rains and cooler temperatures have significantly dampened fire risk around the Bay Area, according to a top climate expert.

"I think the amount of rain that we're getting right now with the storm track that is currently over California is putting an end to our fire season," said Prof. Craig Clements, the Director of the Wildfire Interdisciplinary Research Center at San Jose State University. "We are now in a winter pattern, and so we shouldn't expect any fires in the next month – potentially two months."

The wet weather is a welcome sight to Woodside resident Rocco Pent.

"Hopefully we'll get some more of it. It's definitely a good thing to have it right now," he said.

In June, Pent and his family had to evacuate after the Edgewood Fire sparked up about a quarter of a mile away from his home. That fire threatened homes near I-280 in Woodside and in Redwood City.

Edgewood Fire burns at least 20 acres near Redwood City 01:01

"I wasn't worried for my safety as far as the fire coming up and physically harming me, but as far as my house and stuff, it was definitely very scary," he said.

Walking around his rain-soaked property this week, Pent feels like the recent rains should keep them in the clear for a while.

"I would say I'm not really too worried for the next few months probably, just because we have gotten a little bit more rain," he said.

Clements says the weather pattern the Bay Area is experiencing is a good sign right now, as it's helping increase the fuel moisture content.

"The wetter the fuel the harder it is for it to catch fire. That is a major source of our fire danger rating system. We basically look at fuel moisture," he said. "If we didn't have this rain event, we would be at a very high risk for a catastrophic fire."

The precipitation is directly impacting this year's fire season, and if more comes throughout the next few months, it'll have an impact on next year's fire season, said Clements.

"This is what we want – nice cold weather. We're getting a lot of snow in the Sierra. That's really going to help us turn the corner hopefully and help alleviate some of our drought issues we have across the state and definitely settling our fire danger for the season," he said. "The wetter the winter and the wetter the spring will delay fire season next summer."

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