September 10, 2020 – With months still remaining in the wildfire season, already nearly 100 large fires covering roughly 3.5 million acres are currently active across the western United States, with California, Oregon and Washington being hit especially hard. The fires have forced some communities to evacuate, thousands of properties have been damaged, entire towns have been destroyed, and people have already lost their lives.
Wildfires have always been a part of the natural landscape, but climate change is making them more frequent and intense. As a result, the wildfire season—which used to last only four months—is now occurring all year round, a shift that is increasingly disrupting and threatening people’s lives and costing progressively more money.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has created a new online Web feature that visualizes the connections between wildfires and climate change in five sets of charts and photos. To learn more about how wildfires are getting worse, causing more harm, and being driving by climate change, as well as about how actions to manage fire-prone areas and reduce emissions can help, click here.
A separate fact sheet on the science connecting extreme weather events, like wildfires, and climate change can be found here.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet’s most pressing problems. Joining with people across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. For more information, go to www.ucsusa.org.