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Yes, wildfires are actually becoming more intense and more common, study says

It’s the first solid evidence to show wildfires are getting worse on a global scale, and climate change is partly to blame, the study said.
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Posted at 2:03 PM, Jun 25, 2024

If you feel like wildfires are getting worse, you are correct. A new study that analyzed satellite data found wildfires are becoming more frequent and severe around the world.

The findings were published Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. They suggest over the past two decades, wildfires have more than doubled in frequency and magnitude.

Most of the worst wildfire seasons have happened over the last seven years, the researchers from the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia said.

The data shows extreme fires in the western United States and parts of Canada and Russia are the main ones driving the trend.

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It’s the first solid evidence to show wildfires are getting worse on a global scale, and climate change is partly to blame, the study said.

The researchers used infrared records to measure the energy intensity of nearly 31 million daily fire events that have occurred around the world since 2003, focusing on the most extreme ones.

Forests in the western part of North America that included coniferous trees like pine and spruce were the most affected by extreme wildfires, the data showed.

While the study did not focus on a direct correlation between the increase in extreme wildfires and climate change, it is apparent that rising temperatures are drying out ecosystems that are naturally prone to fire — quite literally providing the wildfires with more fuel to grow bigger and burn longer.

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