Saturday, May 8, 2010

When unusual is the usual.

Do you ever notice that whenever we have a dry winter in California, come Spring fire officials warn us that the dry vegetation creates an unusually high fire hazard?

And do you ever notice that whenever we have a wet winter in California, that come Spring fire officials warn us that the rains bring more vegetation growth, providing excess fuel to burn, creating an unusually high fire danger?

Like clockwork, they're at it again, in accord with the rainy year scenario. I've seen it twice on the news recently. 

Californians should never be complacent about fire hazards, but we also need to be careful about how we use the language. Unusually high fire danger means that fire is more likely than normal. Yet fire officials tell us every year the danger is higher than normal, which means that unusually high fire danger is actually the usual, which means that every year is a normal year after all. 

Please be careful.

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