Enhanced vegetation growth triggered by heavy rains last winter, followed by drying soils resulting from low rainfall and high temperatures in the spring have fueled Southern California’s early wildfire season, according to scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Chapman University.
Continued drought conditions in Arizona and New Mexico will increase the potential for significant wildfires in May, according to predictions from the National Interagency Fire Center.
Last year set a record in the U.S. for the most acres burned per wildfire since detailed recordkeeping began in 2000, with an average fire size of 137.1 acres out of more than 67,000 fires, according to the State of the Climate from NOAA and the National Interagency Fire Center.
Contrary to what was previously believed, authors of a new study published in Natural Areas Journal find that bark beetle outbreaks do not substantially increase the risk of fire in lodgepole pine and spruce-fir forests.
Cheatgrass, an invasive grass in the western U.S., has substantially altered the fire regime in the Great Basin region since 1980, according to a recent study published in Glob
Mid-level forests in the western U.S.—at about 6,500 to 8,000 feet—will be particularly sensitive to higher temperatures due to climate change, according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience.
So far this year, almost eight million acres have burned across the nation, more than any other year-to-date and almost three million acres more than the 10-year average, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.