Decreased number of rainy days has increased western wildfire

MISSOULA – The number and size of large wildfires has increased dramatically in the western United States during the past three decades. New research shows that significant declines in summer precipitation and lengthening dry spells during summer are major drivers of the increase in fire activity. This is contrary to previous understanding that the increase is attributable only to warming temperatures and earlier snowmelt.

The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service and the University of Montana, funded by NASA and the USDA, and published this week in the Pr...


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