News > California's wildfires explained: how did they start – and is this normal?

California's wildfires explained: how did they start – and is this normal?

22/08/2020 09:00 AM | Click to read full article

A confluence of extreme weather conditions set the stage. First came a record-breaking heatwave. Temperatures in Death Valley hit 130F and the state saw rolling blackouts for the first time in nearly two decades as Californians seeking to cool their homes strained the electrical grid.

 Next, a tropical storm in the Pacific Ocean spun moisture toward California, triggering a rare lighting storm that zapped California more than 10,800 times over a three-day period, sparking small fires.