According to a new university study published at Colorado Boulder University, wildfires in the United States have become bigger, more frequent, and more widespread since 2000. The development of science. Researchers, who said they were worried. Reason Looked at fire data for decades.
Researchers studied approximately 28,000 fire records, beginning in 1984 and ending in 2018, combining satellite images and state and federal fire history records. The team found more fires in the last 13 years than in the last two decades. On the west and east coasts, the frequency of fires almost doubled. In the Great Plains, the frequency of fires quadruples.
When they looked the most closelyIn each region of the country, scientists found that in the west and the Great Plains, the average area per forest fire increased in the 2000s.
Iglesias added, “This trend is challenging fire control efforts and endangering the lives, health and homes of millions of Americans.”
The research team also found that the size of fire-affected areas throughout the United States increased in the 2000s. The time and physical distance between the new forest fires is shrinking. The fire is also spreading to areas that were not burned before 2000.
Researchers believe that climate change could lead to larger and more frequent fires. But the study found that other factors, including topography and “recreation, ecosystem management, increased use of suggested fires, and the human effects associated with development, affect fire behavior in complex ways.”
“Expected changes in climate, fuel and ignition indicate that we will see more and bigger fires in the future.” Said Virginia Iglesias, a research scientist with CU Boulders Earth Lab and lead author of the paper. “Our analysis shows that those changes are already taking place.”