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Water supplies running low

With warming temperatures melting snow, reservoirs should be at their fullest. Not this year.
Late May is when area reservoirs are typically fullest.
Warmer temperatures melt mountain snow.
Some of this water can be captured in lakes and reservoirs so it can be used later in the year for irrigation.

This winter was very dry with snowpack less than half of average.

Randy McFarland works for the Kings River Water Association. He says this year's 'runoff season' came early. "In a good water year we would just be staring to reach the peak of the snowmelt season. But that happened about a month ago. So ever since then, the natural flow of the rivers has been falling off."

Last year was nearly as dry as this year.
But farmers had some water in reserve. The year before last was wet. The snowmelt was captured and saved but the extra is gone now.

The vast majority of plants and trees in Central California are not on irrigated farms. They're impacted directly by drought and firefighters are concerned.

Firefighter Ryan Michaels says, "The amount of moisture that goes in those fuels determines how fast how readily it will burn and how much energy it will produce as fire consumes it."

He says different agencies are training together to prepare for fast-growing fires.

"We're going to change our tactics and strategies depending on the size and the flame lengths and how fast that fire is able to move. Typically this time of year through the heavier fuels it's not moving at a critical rate but with all the drought conditions and today with the winds and breezes that we've been getting as different systems move through, it can produce very fast moving fires."
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Fresno, CA

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