California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change

| August 5, 2019 | Leave a Comment

U.S. Department of Defense

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Foundational

Date of Publication: July 16, 2019

Author(s): Robinson Meyer

Newspaper: The Atlantic

Categories: ,

“Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal.”

On a hot July evening last year, a rancher tried to use a hammer and stake to plug a wasp’s nest. The hammer slipped, a spark flew, and a patch of dry grass ignited, according to the Los Angeles TimesWithin minutes, the brush fire fed on bone-dry conditions and became too big to control.

It soon merged with another blaze and became the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in California’s history. It burned almost half a million acres, or roughly 720 square miles, before it was finally extinguished four months later. It killed one firefighter and injured four.

Californians may feel like they’re enduring an epidemic of fire. The past decade has seen half of the state’s 10 largest wildfires and seven of its 10 most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest wildfire ever.

Read the full article here. 

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