Study finds that North American wildfires likely to increase in severity

Signal of change / Study finds that North American wildfires likely to increase in severity

By Sam Zak / 16 Oct 2018

A study published in the journal Plos One, and supported by the US Forest Service Global Change Program, has found that wildfires will likely increase in about half the states and provinces in western and northern North America. Although the study emphasised that the spread of wildfires will not be even, it predicted an increase of five times or more than current levels in total wildfire area burned.

So what?

The financial implications of wildfires have become well-established so that it is likely we will soon see multi-billion dollar fire years. The total cost of the 2017 fires in California alone is projected to exceed $180 billion, including immediate costs of firefighting as well as rehabilitation, insurance and rebuilding costs. Moreover, an increase in the intensity of wildfires will also have serious health implications due to air pollution. Consecutive days of wildfire in 2018 gave California its longest stretch of bad air in at least twenty years.

How should provinces and states adapt to the increased risk? Along with health what other implications could this have?

Sources

http://earthsky.org/earth/wildfires-forecast-us-west

What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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