5 things to know as wildfire season heats up

Ecology, Threats

5 things to know as wildfire season heats up

New research sheds light on how increasing wildfires are affecting ecosystems and communities. In early May scientists discovered a plume of smoke wafting from a smoldering sequoia that ignited during 2020’s Castle fire, which set California’s Sequoia National Forest alight last August.

The fiery remnant is the result of another too-dry winter in California and an ominous marker for the beginning of the 2021 fire season, which experts say looks “grim” for California and across much of the West. March and April were the driest in more than 126 years for Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah, and the third and fourth driest for California and Colorado. Oregon, meanwhile, had its driest April ever. Things are predicted to continue to be both hotter and drier than normal across the West and Plains, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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