Wildfire Season in the West Lasts Longer and Longer

Stuart Palley via ZUMA

On the East Coast, the big danger comes from hurricanes, which are becoming ever more intense as ocean waters continue to warm. Here on the West Coast, we worry about wildfire season, which lasts longer and longer as summer temperatures linger into fall:

Despite record-breaking rain and snowfall across the West in 2017, this year’s fire season has been unforgiving….“Typically by the third week of September we see not as much fire activity,” said Jessica Gardetto, spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center. “But we just haven’t had that relief.” The blazes have been responsible for the deaths of eight firefighters and have destroyed more than 500 homes.

….What makes the fires burning across the West so extreme? One aspect that sets this year apart is the length of time the fire season has lasted, in part because of dry air, conducive for sustaining wildfires. Lightning strikes in Oregon and Washington have sparked many of the wildfires still ravaging large swaths of land, while drought-stricken Montana continues to battle several large fires.

Rising sea levels. Bigger hurricanes. More drought. Longer wildfire seasons. This is global warming, folks.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.