Oct 10, 2016

Forest fires have doubled in West due to climate change, study finds

Big Sur, CA
USA
by
Paul Rogers
,
The Mercury News
At its peak, more than 5,000 firefighters battled the Soberanes Fire in Big Sur this summer. Photo: David Royal – Monterey Herald
At its peak, more than 5,000 firefighters battled the Soberanes Fire in Big Sur this summer. Photo: David Royal – Monterey Herald

Climate change from human activity nearly doubled the area that burned in forest fires in the American West over the past 30 years, a major new scientific study has found, and larger, more intense fires are all but guaranteed in the years ahead.

...

Across the vast forests of the American West, the number of fires, the size of the area burned and the length of the fire season all have been increasing in recent decades.

...

For Californians, the impact of the damage is close to home. The Soberanes fire, which began July 22 and has burned more than 132,000 acres in Big Sur, has become the most expensive wildfire in U.S. history. It surpassed $236 million last week for the equipment, food and wages of fire crews and other related costs over 80 days. The blaze is now 99 percent contained, but at its peak, more than 5,000 firefighters from around the United States battled the Soberanes fire, which began with an untended campfire in Garrapata State Park, then destroyed 57 homes and killed a bulldozer operator.