SJSU researchers ready to respond to major wildfires

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Amid the elevated fire danger, scientists at San Jose State University are on standby to respond to any major wildfire. This season, they have close to $1 million worth of new technology to help them conduct their research.

"With the increase in potential Diablo winds, or north wind events, with the lower fuel moisture that's associated with the fall season, we could still have a big fire," said Craig Clements, director of the world-renowned SJSU Fire Weather Research Laboratory.

As part of the university's department of meteorology and climate sciences, the program has become a go-to source for accurate real-time fire weather forecasting.

Students and staff are currently researching fire behavior and how weather leads to extreme fire danger. The lab also conducts monthly fuel sampling in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is then analyzed for wildfire danger assessment for the Bay Area as a whole.

"To understand the winds of the fire is to understand the fire itself, and if we can understand fire, we can understand how it spreads, and that matters for the people we care about," said undergraduate research assistant Jackson Yip.

Watch the video for a look at some of the new tools being used by SJSU scientists this season, including a sneak peek at the team's new mobile Doppler radar, which is the only one being operated by an academic institution west of the Rockies.
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