California’s wildfire season is expanding as the wet season becomes compressed

Washington Post

In California, raging wildfires seem to materialize like clockwork every summer and fall, damaging property and claiming lives. What was once traditionally the “wet season” is no longer immune from bouts of dangerous fire weather. California’s wildfire season is expanding, and human-induced climate change is a leading cause.

Each of the past several years has featured deadly and destructive wildfires wreaking havoc across California, with an increased tendency for blazes to exhibit extreme fire behavior and an ever-growing threat to residents. About 4.2 million acres were torched in the Golden State in 2020, an area larger than Connecticut and twice as extensive as the previous worst season on record.

The greatest risk for wildfires comes between August and November, when parched vegetation left in the wake of summer’s warmth provides ample kindling at a time of year when seasonably strong winds fan any flames. But in recent years, that dry season has been swelling, the threat of fires lingering when winter rains are delayed.

Read more >