Climate Signals summary: The Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff, AZ has exploded in size, fueled in part by a multi-year drought made worse by human-caused climate change. The southwestern U.S. is experiencing the driest conditions in at least 1,200 years.
Dangerous fire conditions are creating the perfect fuel for wildfires to scorch through the arid landscapes of the Southwest.
The Tunnel Fire, which sparked Sunday about 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, exploded to more than 16,000 acres by Wednesday morning, destroying at least 25 structures, according to Coconino County officials. More than 200 firefighters are battling the fast-moving inferno, which is currently 0% contained.
A decades-long megadrought, combined with low humidity and high winds, has created tinderbox conditions in the area.
The Southwest is experiencing the driest conditions in at least 1,200 years, a study published in Nature Climate Change in February found.
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