An unplanned, unwanted wildland fire in forests, shrubland, or grassland.
What is a wildfire, anyway?
There's way more wildfires now than 20 years ago, right?
Despite the prevalence of wildfires in the news over the last 20 years, and some ups and downs, the number of reported wildfires per year has remained ABOUT THE SAME.
So why are we hearing more about wildfires in the last ten years?
While the frequency of wildfires may have stayed about the same, the number of acres burned and the level of devastation has INCREASED dramatically since 2000.
Western States have had the greatest amount of burned acreage in the last 25 yars. Idaho and Nevada had the greatest number of burned acres.
In 2015, the most devastating year on record, Alaska, Washington, and California had the biggest fires.
Where are these devastating wild fires occurring?
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Global temperatures have risen 2 degrees F in 20 years
Longer droughts make trees more insect damage and death, increasing fuel for fires
Drier forests ignite more easily by lightning or by humans
Lower humidity and stronger winds from climate change make wildfires hard to stop
--Never leave a campfire or burn pile unattended
--Watch municipal fireworks shows instead of lighting your own
--Plant native, drought-resistant trees
--Buy energy efficient products
--Make wise transportation choices - like public transportation
--Conserve energy at home and at work
--Appreciate the work of the US Forest Service and wildfire firefighters
Short Anwer: GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Climate Nexus at http://climatenexus.org/learn/extreme-weather/wildfires
Insurance Information Institute at http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/wildfires
EPA: Climate Change Indicators in the US at https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/ecosystems/wildfires.html
Top Ten Things to Reduce Climate Change at http://www.broward.org/