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The western fire season is growing months longer

In a recent study in the journal Science, Anthony Westerling and colleagues found the length of the fire season in the western US was 78 days longer on average from 1987 – 2003 on average than it was from 1970-1986.1 The trend is linked to earlier snowmelt, and appears to be contributing to an increase in wildfires.

  1. Westerling, A. L., H. G. Hidalgo, D. R. Cayan, and T. W. Swetnam. “Warming and earlier spring increase western US forest wildfire activity.” (PDF) Science 313, no. 5789 (2006): 940–943.