To get the big-picture, we’ve created a brand new wildfire tracker that shows where every wildfire is burning with a side of climate.
Hover over a red circle to see how much area has been burned. Click on it, and you’ll get more climate context and the number of people at risk. No wildfire happens in a vacuum anymore. Large wildfires — those greater than 1,000 acres — have doubled since 1970 due in part to a warming climate. And with more people living in harm’s way, that’s raising the risk of losing life and property (a risk that became reality in California last year with the Valley and Butte fires).
There are a number of climate factors also upping the odds of a bad wildfire season in the western U.S. Drought-addled California continues to be a huge wildfire risk. Snowpack is at 6 percent of normal for this time of year with the southern and central Sierra Nevada mountains registering a goose egg in terms of snow on the ground.