Unfortunately, many states experience devastating wildfires, but California has the unwanted distinction of being particularly prone to them. Now in its fifth year of drought, the Golden State has gone from having to deal with the annual summer fire season to accepting the fact that wildfires are a problem year ‘round.
Indeed, Scott Stephens, professor of fire science at University of California, Berkeley, has declared that California is in “a 12-month fire season.”
On Aug. 11 came word from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection that the cause of the Valley Fire -- the third most destructive wildfire in the state’s recorded history -- has been determined: faulty hot tub wiring at a residence. That blaze occurred in Napa and Sonoma counties near San Francisco in September 2015, killing four people, scorching more than 76,000 acres and costing nearly $57 million to extinguish.