Thursday, September 20, 2018

What Causes California Wildfires?

What do you get if you combine huge forests, global warming and lots of people? The answer is devastating wildfires. At least that appears to be what is happening in California.

According to The Guardian the extensive California forests are full of dead trees, nearly 129 million of them. Because of global warming the past five years have been the hottest recorded in California and the state has only just emerged from a six year drought. The result of this extended hot dry weather and 129 million dead trees is you have almost the perfect conditions for wildfire. All you need now is human beings.

Humans are responsible for 84% of wildfires and California has a lot of them. These people are also increasingly living in the state's high-risk fire corridors. The result is a highly combustible situation. Of course when those inevitable wildfires do occur the drought conditions mean that there is little rain and groundwater around to help put out those fires. You can learn more about Why California's Wildfires are So Bad on this Guardian story map.

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