Reuters

Higher temperatures, prolonged drought, and fire suppression policy combine to make fires worse.

From the Rim fire currently engulfing California to the Black Forest fire that burned more than 500 homes in Colorado, wildfires are becoming more destructive. In this video, Matthew Hurteau—assistant professor of forest resources at Penn State University—explains how warming temperatures, prolonged drought, and a century's worth of fire suppression policy are "priming the system to make it more flammable."

After you watch the video, be sure to check out Climate Desk's detailed explainer on the link between climate change and destructive fires.

Top image: A fast-moving wildfire on the edge of Yosemite National Park. (Max Whittaker/Reuters)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  2. A view of traffic near Los Angeles.
    Transportation

    How Cars Divide America

    Car dependence not only reduces our quality of life, it’s a crucial factor in America’s economic and political divisions.

  3. A woman holding a doll dances with a man holding a stuffed animal on a busy street.
    Life

    Hong Kong’s Pedestrian Mecca Gets the Axe

    The raucous pedestrian zone in Mong Kok will reopen to vehicles, following hundreds of noise complaints.

  4. Equity

    CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

    You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

  5. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”