Science

Extreme California wildfires may increase 57% even with low emissions

Wildfires that grow more than 4000 hectares in a single day could become much more frequent in California even with low greenhouse gas emissions



Environment



8 September 2022

A firetruck on California Highway 96 as the McKinney Fire burned in Klamath National Forest in 2022

Noah Berger/AP/Shutterstock

By 2050, days with extreme wildfires in California could become 57 per cent more frequent even in a warming scenario with low greenhouse gas emissions. With very high emissions, days with extreme fire could nearly triple by the end of the century.

Since 1972, the area burned by wildfires annually in California has increased fivefold. A disproportionate amount of that increase has been from extreme fires, those that grow more than 4000 hectares …

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