Forecast: warmer, drier and more of us in harm’s way
As notices begin to arrive in the mail to nearly 850,000 California residences in fire-prone areas for Cal Fire’s controversial new fire prevention fee, a study out of the University of California Merced offers a powerful rationale for beefing up the state’s wildland firefighting resources.
Warmer average temperatures coupled with urban growth will greatly increase wildfire risk to California homes in the decades to come, according to the new UC study [PDF] prepared for the California Energy Commission.
Lead author and environmental engineering professor Anthony Westerling, says wildfire risk to California homes may double over the next 40 years because of a combination of climate change, land alteration and urban development. Continue reading