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September 5, 2023
News article

The Keetch-Byram Drought index or KBDI is an 800-point scale that measures soil moisture. Learn what the numbers mean. and how they impact fire danger

Our operations staff and fire behavior analysts have been mentioning the Keetch-Byram Drought index, or KBDI for short, in several of our videos. You may know that it measures drought, but what does it actually mean?

KBDI is a measure of moisture within the top 8 inches of soil, displayed on a scale of 0-800. A KBDI of 0 means the soil is 100% saturated with water, and a KBDI of 800 is bone dry.

Before today's rainfall, KBDI in our fire area was 790. To get the KBDI below 400 (under drought levels), we would need 4 inches of rain.

So even with a good soaking rain today, we are not out of the drought. NOAA predicts the current drought to persist through the month of September. So please be careful, and don't burn anything!

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