California wildfires fuelled by climate change, report finds

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A Canyon fire burned in Los Angeles in August 2018

Wildfires in California are being fuelled by climate change.

The chances of large wildfires caused by extreme weather events, such as extreme wind, tree die-back, and seasonal warming, are increasing, says the state’s scientific commission.

Wildfires in California burnt across over 200,000 acres last year, and are expected to get worse in the future.

But the most recent record breaking California drought has ended.

And the state’s fire season is ending earlier than normal because of higher temperatures and the continued cycle of shorter winters.

Conclusions

The panel of experts says that global warming is adding more extreme weather conditions to the mix, and that these situations are likely to get worse in the future.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption More extreme weather events are leading to more wildfires, a new report warns

And the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has confirmed that 2018 marked the seventh year of strong fires and less rainfall than the previous five.

The Californian panel of experts has predicted that the number of wildfires on the state’s most active fire land — a mix of forest and desert soils in the foothills and higher mountains — will double in the coming decades.

In total, about 125 million people are affected by the state’s wildfires on average every year.

Wildfires in California are fuelled by a number of factors, including climate change, people making homes near brushy and forested areas, and changing forest and wildlife management.

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