27 June 2012
Climate Change May Make Wildfires More Unpredictable
Scientists have been predicting in recent years that climate change would impact wildfires, and two fires in Colorado may be examples. A report published this month by the Ecological Society of America says more study is needed on the connection between climate change and wildfires.
“Given the strong linkage between fire and climate, there is little doubt that climate-induced disruptions to fire activity will occur in many areas,” the report says. The deadly North Fork and High Park wildfires have shown that wildfires that seemed under control erupted. Even the most modern evacuation warning systems did not prevent the loss of four lives in the two fires.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said the High Park fire west of Fort Collins was like “having a dragon by the tail but it was alive…” The toll in homes was likely to exceed 200, making it the most destructive in Colorado history.