Scientists project the annual area wildfires burn in Washington State to double or more
Area burned is projected to double by the 2040s and quadruple by the 2080s, relative to 1916 – 2006.[[Littell, Jeremy S. et al., Forest Ecosystems, Disturbances, and Climatic Change Ã¢Â€Â¨in Washington State, USA ( PDF) Climate Impacts Group, 2009.]] This expectation is consistent with other projections for the wider West.[[Spracklen, D. V., L. J. Mickley, J. A. Logan, R. C. Hudman, R. Yevich, M. D. Flannigan, and A. L. Westerling. “Impacts of climate change from 2000 to 2050 on wildfire activity and carbonaceous aerosol concentrations in the western United States.” (PDF) J. Geophys. Res., 2009. PDF.]]
The overall projections amplify a trend of increasing wildfires already underway regionally and in Washington. The increases are in turn linked to warmer temperatures regionally and in Washington State, and to earlier snowmelt regionally and in the state.