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Officials Warn of Fire Dangers During Dry Weather

 
Officials Warn of Fire Dangers During Dry Weather
Posted January 3rd, 2014 @ 6:50pm by KFBK News - Tim Lantz

Northern California's extremely dry weather isn't just a worry for the people who manage our water supplies.  It's a problem for those who fight fires.

Cal Fire is warning of a potentially disastrous January for those of us living in the Sacramento Region because of the abnormally dry weather.  Spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff said it may be wintertime but wildfire can still be a problem.

"When the temperatures are a bit colder the fuels aren't getting heated up quite as much, but the problem is that the fuel, like especially they know grasses are very dry right now," Talmachoff explained.

You're being asked to be careful with debris piles and disposing of fireplace ashes.  This comes at the same time Folsom Lake is so low federal and state officials are talking about reducing the flow from Folsom Dam to just enough for the federally-protected steelhead trout.  That's because there's four times the water leaving Folsom Lake than going in.

By law, a certain amount needs to be released from the Folsom Resevoir into the American River, but the lake is now so dry that water levels are at risk of dipping below a pipe that carries a supply to Folsom and Roseville.

"We started, kinda planning for this potential of drought conditions persisting back in May after the first five months were the dryest months first five months in any calendar year" said Drew Lessard with the Bureau of Reclamation.

Lessard told News 10 this is something the dam's designers never imaged.  In a worst case scenario, a barge could be moved in to pump water to the intake.

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