The residents of Western North America are pretty acquainted with wildfires after living through countless smoke-filled summers and record-setting burns.
Many experts are still wondering why forest fires are increasing in size and becoming more severe and how to prevent them.
A set of studies got 40 fire and forest ecologists from the Western US and Canada regions to take a look at the latest research and find an answer to the questions provoked by the numerous wildfires that struck the country.
The studies concluded that climate change plays a significant part in the increasingly worsening situation.
Estimates suggest that the summer wildfire season is, on average, between 40 and 80 days longer than it used to be three decades ago.
Yearly droughts are more severe, making it easier for vegetation to dry out and fires to begin and spread like.. wildfire.
Intense weather phenomenons are often triggered by dry fuels mixed with lightning storms, which can lead to an increase in the frequency and severity of wildfires.
However, what is more, paradoxical is that a lack of fire in the Western region is also one of the reasons why fire severity and wildfire vulnerability have been on the rise in some areas.
The lack of fire in some areas allows vegetation (both dead and alive) to pile up, and, as an increased number of people visit wildland zones and spark blazes, pressure to fight all forest fires is reaching peak levels.
Naturally (or even artificially) occurring wildfires often lead to patchy burns.
In turn, the patchy burns can lead to the formation of forest landscapes that are unlikely to burn all at once.
It is advised that you take care when lighting a fire, now more than ever, as wildfires pose severe threats to many people across the globe. Even a throwaway lit cigarette can lead to a catastrophe!