An upside of the increase in forest fires in the West is that they reduce the amount of fuel available for other fire burns. This might provide an effect on western fires for the next few decades, but the warning of climate-driven forest fires is not diminishing a new study shows. Without any substantial changes in how people interact with wildfire in the western US, Climate Change will increasingly put people in harm as the forest fires become larger and even more severe and dangerous.
UC Professors John Abatzoglou and Crystal Kolden along with collaborators from the University of Washington, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies recently published a paper in the journal “Nature Communications Earth and Environment” detailing their findings of the increase of forest fires!
– Climate-driven increases in the forest-fire area in the western U.S. are likely to continue in the coming few decades;
– Dynamic feedbacks between fire and fuel availability can reduce increasing fire activity, but are unlikely to ward off climate-driven increases in forest fire extent; and
– Extreme West-wide fire seasons similar to 2020 will become more common, but not every year will be that severe.
By Sri Nihal Tammana
Image credit: University of California, Merced