Talk about a one-two punch. Between the lack of rain and the sub-freezing temperatures, “there’s no doubt about it – the two together give it a harder case,” says James McFarlane, who grows 700 acres of citrus in Fresno County.
And McFarlane says he’s one of the lucky ones: “Even though we’ve spent all that money on propane and labor, to get those wind machines on and off, even though for about a 40 day period I only spent two full nights in my warm bed, we’re probably gonna make more money because of it.”
That’s because his supply weathered the weather fairly well. Others did not. California’s citrus industry estimates the cost of the seven-day December freeze at about $440 million. That’ll lead to a shorter California citrus season in stores, and perhaps higher prices for customers.
A program will begin soon in the Eldorado National Forest to remove live or dead vegetation to prevent the spread of wildfires.
The Sacramento Suburban Water District is asking customers to voluntarily cut outdoor watering to one day a week this fall as other water providers move to mandatory restrictions.
The increase in the number of wildfires in California and the western U.S. may partly be caused by climate change.
The San Joaquin Valley enjoyed three weeks of healthy air in July for the first time in 20 years.
The California Fish and Game Commission voted Wednesday to ban bobcat trapping in the state.