Plotted values depict the percent of maximum plant available soil moisture currently in the top 16" of the soil profile. In the growing season (May through October), values <= 20% are strongly associated with large wildfires (>= 1000 acres), given suitable fire weather conditions, because low soil moisture reduces fuel production and live fuel moisture, which increases wildfire risk. In contrast, in the dormant season (November through April), the link between large wildfires and plant available soil moisture is weaker because dead fuels predominate and, consequently, fire weather is the major driver for wildfires. Finally, elevated plant available soil moisture (> 50%) during the spring and early summer months results in increased fuel production and, consequently, increased probability of large fires in the subsequent dormant season given suitable fire weather. This map is updated every 30 minutes with the latest 24-hr averages; values may occasionally go above 100% or below 0% due to local soil site and weather conditions.
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