One of California’s most large-scale fires, the Dixie Fire, is a wildfire that is consuming thousands of acres of land in the western U.S. Though wildfires are a natural part of the United States’ seasonal weather patterns, some climate experts believe that anthropogenic environmental impacts are causing seasonal fire seasons to start earlier. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that the frequency of wildfires will increase due to human-borne climate change.

Californian Sunset street on
California’s Sunset street

Breaking News: California Fire

California’s Tamarack Fire, Sugar Fire and August Complex Fire are more examples of how severe and destructive the state’s wildfires can get. Massive fires are being felt in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Montana. Oregon’s Bootleg Fire has swelled to about 290,000 acres and appears to be resistant to some efforts to contain it. . Fires of this caliber cost more than damages in property and lost homes for residents, it also reduces vegetation and other crops that human civilizations depend on. Rainforests and grasslands are ecosystems that contain invaluable resources that are threatened by wildfires. Federal governments spend billions of dollars annually to fight wildfires and to pay for infrastructure damages.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the annual area burned by wildfires has been consistently increasing since the 1980s. Since the year 2015, the United States has had on average approximately 100 more wildfires every year than the year which preceded. Increased temperatures and escalations in drought frequencies are likely the result of greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor and nitrous oxide) and deforestation work in conjunction to increase Earth’s average surface temperature. Humanity’s agricultural and industrial practices are the culprits which are at the source of rising heat crisis. As conditions become hotter, soils may dry out faster, leaving vegetation to be more vulnerable to combustibility.

Climate change is altering the conditions which give rise to wildfires by drying soils and vegetation, lengthening drought seasons and warming average global temperatures. Warmer temperatures additionally cause snow to melt at an accelerated rate, which decreases the availability of water and makes the likelihood of fire more probable and could make fires burn more intensely.

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