Larger burns, longer seasons are new norm
The E&E News reports that the frequency of larger wildfires on Forest Service lands in the West has significantly increased over the past 40 years. Phil Taylor reports that it's likely to continue to increase as temperatures rise and winter snowpack shrinks in the West, according to a new report from a Princeton, N.J.-based scientific organization.
The article goes on to describe a report by Climate Central that warns that the 2012 wildfire season (estimated at 8.4 millions acres presently), which is already the second largest this decade with two more months of fire season remaining, could be the new "norm."
Continue reading the complete E&E article for a full summary on the study.
"Higher temperatures can cause earlier snowmelt, reducing the amount of moisture in the ground and creating conditions ripe for larger fires, the report said. In the past four decades, years with higher spring and summer temperatures typically also have had the largest wildfires."
Photo Credit: Steven Meister/U.S. Forest Service, Gila National Forest; The Whitewater-Baldy Complex burns in southwestern New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. Large fires can impact water supplies for decades.