In fact, geographical distribution of natural vegetation around the world has its own beauty-related mainly to soil and the monsoon pattern. Tropical forests are denser compared to the temperate and present a heterogenic composition which in itself is a great advantage for the ecosystem. In addition, the faunal composition also plays a role in preserving the tropical character.
Soil moisture content (SMC) greatly influences the composition and diversity of species distribution not only because of the moisture retention potential but even from the microbial population as well.
California with temperate coniferous forests has to some extent the xerophytic adaptation in their needle leaf unlike the tropical forests. It is also possible that the comparatively less moisture content in the coniferous species would evaporate sooner during peak summer making it vulnerable for a quick burn potential. This is further compounded by the species density as well - spreading branches during windy days may trigger fire due to friction, as well.
Now that the fire has prepared a ground for better species generation through the addition of ash content, this is the time that the forest officials need to adopt a different strategy to cash on the benefits of the new growth (lower density of conifers) combined with intermittent select species. Since the pandemic has now been strongly advocating the needle shift from the fossil fuel generation to renewables, it will be an ideal situation for the Californian to seriously work out the statistics on biomass energy as well. The litter gathered on the ground takes a longer time for decomposition by microbial populations due to the very nature of needle leaf. The introduction of select indigenous species to achieve heterogenic character of the forest gradually enhances faster microbial action.
Climate change has in fact, resulted in higher temperatures than normal in several parts of the world. California which has witnessed several forest fires by now as per the documentation, I am sure one can find the true causes of forest fires. Enlisting them would indicate the major causes some of which could be manmade, as well. The simultaneous action by the forest officials who are familiar with the routine practices and the other authorities concerned could certainly find a long term suitable solution, in due course.
Since the traffic rules are far more stringent, a little more intense supervision through modern gadgets at strategic locations would help them restrict human-induced fires.
The housing crisis seems to be fueling the promotion of forest fires. I am sure they can find their own solutions in choosing the fire-resistant construction material.