The Western U.S. appears headed for another dangerous fire season, and a new study shows that even high mountain areas once considered too wet to burn are at increasing risk as the climate warms.
Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. West is in severe to exceptional drought right now, including large parts of the Rocky Mountains, Cascades and Sierra Nevada. The situation is so severe that the Colorado River basin is on the verge of its first official water shortage declaration, and forecasts suggest another hot, dry summer is on the way.
Warm and dry conditions like these are a recipe for wildfire disaster.
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Sadegh, Mojtaba; Abatzoglou, John; and Alizadeh, Mohammad Reza. (2021). "Western Fires are Burning Higher in the Mountains at Unprecedented Rates – It’s a Clear Sign of Climate Change". The Conversation, .