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Climate Scientists Predict 'Fiery Future' For The West

Smokehouse Fire
(Photo courtesy of Bridger-Teton National Forest)
A webcam shot of the Smokehouse Fire.

A recent report by a leading organization of climate scientists predicts a “fiery future” for the West with Arizona facing the greatest threat of increased wildfire risk.

The report by Climate Central details the last 45 years of wildfire trends in 11 Western states and found six times more acres of the west burned this decade when compared to the 1970’s.

It also concludes that in the past four-and-half decades, the overall length of the fire season has grown by average of 105 days. That means in 1970, the average length of the season was typically under five months. Now it usually lasts more than eight.

In the not-so-distant future, that hazard will grow, especially here in Arizona with 34 more wildfire risk days expected by the year 2050.

We spoke with Dr. Alyson Kenward who helped lead the study for Climate Central.

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Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.