Wildland acres burned

 

As global temperatures rise, wildfires are starting earlier and lasting longer into the season. As of press time there were 10 large fires (over 500 acres) burning in the West.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCILarry
SCILarry
Nov 20, 2006 10:31 AM

Dear HCN,

I very much appreciate the graphic ("Wildland Fires Burned") on page 3 of the October 16th issue, and I hope you will continue to bring us data in this format. Unfortunately, the caption suggests that the cause for a longer fire season is global temperature increase.  I think there is evidence for both phenomena, but covariation does not imply causality.  Increased logging, local weather variations, fuel loading increases, differences in ignition behaviors, and even how burn data are recorded, etc. may all play a part in what could be a short-term cyclic change. I fear it really may be global warming behind this change, but it is too soon to make that singular conclusion.