Jul 26, 2015

Alaska’s terrifying wildfire season and what it says about climate change

Alaska
USA
by
Chris Mooney
,
Washington Post
From left, Jason Robles, Vladimir Tamashiro-Loma and Louis Yu of the Team Rubicon 3 firefighting crew work to extinguish a hot spot at the Aggie Creek Fire. Image: Marc Lester/For The Washington Post
From left, Jason Robles, Vladimir Tamashiro-Loma and Louis Yu of the Team Rubicon 3 firefighting crew work to extinguish a hot spot at the Aggie Creek Fire. Image: Marc Lester/For The Washington Post

The staggering 2015 Alaska wildfire season may soon be the state’s worst ever, with almost 5 million acres already burned — an area larger than Connecticut. The pace of the burn has moderated in the last week, but scientists say the fires are just the latest indicator of a climatic transformation that is remaking this state — its forests, its coasts, its glaciers, and perhaps most of all, the frozen ground beneath — more than any other in America.