trend of increasing large wildfires for the U.S. West due to climate
clear as clear can be.
And as we enter 2018, fire officials are concerned that we might
experience another damaging summer and fall similar to 2017.
of the present state of U.S. fire season.)
and drier-than-normal conditions have put large portions of the
Western United States at above-average risk for significant wildfires
between now and September.
year’s wildfire season could rival last year’s, which was one of
the most devastating on record, said Vicki Christiansen, interim
chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
drought conditions and warmer than normal temperatures prevailing
across the U.S. West at present, a number of large wildfires are
breaking out. The most significant now run through Colorado,
New Mexico and
California. In addition, four
large fires are burning over Alaska where
much warmer than normal temperatures have also settled in.
western drought and above average temperatures are contributing to
increased fire potential during June of 2018. Warmer temperatures and
worsening droughts are also related to human-caused climate change.
As a result, unless human caused warming is abated, fires will
continue to grow larger and more intense. Image source: The
National Weather Service.)
the future, unless fossil fuel burning is rapidly reduced, the area
of land burned in the U.S. West could
increase by up to 650 percent.
So wildfires are a substantial hazard related to climate change. And
the present more severe season cannot be excluded from a trend that
has been amplified by that change.