LOS ANGELES — It’s the same story that has kept fire crews from the front lines of the California wildfires: a long wait for resources.
But a new study by a group of California experts says there are new options that can keep the state’s fires from spreading beyond their boundaries.
“The problem is, it’s going to take a lot more resources to do that than it has to do to keep these fires from happening,” said Andrew Haggerty, a senior scientist at the Institute for Climate and Energy Solutions at the University of California, Berkeley.
“If the problem is going to get worse, it needs to get better,” he added.
The study, released Thursday by the National Academy of Sciences, found that the wildfire season in California will be a “longer-than-expected summer” that will mean there are more fires in the state than expected.
The number of fires has reached a record high this year and the state is seeing more than half the fires it has ever seen in the past 10 years, according to the study.
“California is going through the worst wildfire season on record,” said Haggerts study.
“The situation is very challenging, it is getting worse.”
It is also expected to cause the state to spend far more money on emergency response, including rebuilding its roads and bridges, building water-treatment plants and new firefighting vehicles.
The fires are spreading out of control across California, and the National Weather Service is predicting more blazes in the coming days.
In addition to the state, a record 4.7 million acres of land has burned in the wildfire-prone region, the most ever recorded.
The fires have destroyed more than 6,000 homes and destroyed more to the tune of more than $2.4 billion.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported Thursday that its crews were battling more than 20,000 wildfires across the state in the latest data.
The report said more than 1,100 wildfires have burned in Northern California this year, compared with 1,065 fires in 2013.
The U.S. Forest Service reported Thursday it had battled more than 9,500 wildfires this year.
The most severe wildfire season was in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which is expected to continue for the next several months.
The wildfire season is a slow, steady process that can take years to see progress.