Wildfires continuing to ravage California, and the worsening wildfire trend in the western U.S. is a sign of a changing climate. Higher temperatures from increasing greenhouse gases are making conditions more conducive for the spread of fires. Specifically this year, vegetation in California flourished in the spring after a wet winter. But the state had its hottest summer on record in concert with its normally dry summer season. As a result, large amounts of vegetation had dried out, providing additional fuel for wildfires this year.
Here are some resources to help you tell the climate change aspect of the story:
• High resolution graphics illustrate the trends in the number of wildfires for individual western states, like California, and the West as a whole (link and examples below):