As wildfires continue to rage across the West, the media is ignoring a major cause of the intensity and frequency of these fires: climate change.
Climate change has made the West hotter and drier, increasing the risk of wildfires and making them harder to contain. Major reports suggest that the seasons are longer, the fires are more intense.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell explained it this way:
It’s hard for the average member of the public to understand how things have changed.
Ten years ago in New Mexico outside Los Alamos we had a fire get started. Over seven days, it burned 40,000 acres. In 2011, we had another fire. Las Conchas. It also burned 40,000 acres. It did it in 12 hours