Judging strictly by recent headlines, you might think this is an epic fire season; a “grim beginning to California fire season,” with conflagrations “raining fire from the sky,” as recent reports have characterized it. In fact, this year is on par with last year and not too far askew from longer-term averages, says fire scientist Scott Stephens.
Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley
Blame the increase in frequency and severity of wildfires in California on drought and climate change. As the number of fires goes up each year, so does the costs of suppression.
As a large fire forced evacuations this week near Los Angeles, experts pointed out that wildfires in the United States are now more destructive and dangerous than ever.