The Atlantic

California’s Wildfires Are 500 Percent Larger Due to Climate Change

“Each degree of warming causes way more fire than the previous degree of warming did. And that’s a really big deal.”
Source: Noah Berger / Getty

On a hot July evening last year, a rancher tried to use a hammer and stake to plug a wasp’s nest. The hammer slipped, a spark flew, and a patch of dry grass ignited, according to the Los Angeles Times. Within minutes, the brush fire fed on bone-dry conditions and became too big to control.

It soon merged with another blaze and became the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest wildfire in California’s history. It burned almost half a million acres, or roughly 720 square miles, before it was finally extinguished four months later. It killed one firefighter and

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