Homes evacuated. Buildings destroyed. Thousands of acres scorched. The peak of the fire season is yet to come, and it’s only being made worse by climate change.
The wildfires blazing in California, Alaska and across the Southwest are threatening communities and natural resources. In Alaska, the first wildfire this season started in late February, yet the season typically begins in April or May.
Already, more than 29,000 wildfires have burned over 2.6 million acres in 2016, increasing concerns that we could see yet another busy, dangerous and costly fire season. Last year was the most severe on record, with more than 10 million acres burned. That’s more than twice the size of the state of Massachusetts. It was also the costliest at $2.1 billion.