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Nearly 2 Million Acres Burned In 2018 California Wildfires

The 2018 California wildfire season emitted as much carbon dioxide as is created by the generation of an entire year’s worth of electricity, according the the U.S. Geological Survey.

Wildfires throughout California are estimated to have released emissions around 68 million tons of carbon dioxide. That is equal to 15 percent of California’s emissions for the year.

Stephen Pyne is a professor of Life Sciences at ASU and has studied forest fires for decades. Pyne said fire is unlike most other physical disasters because it depends on the living world for energy in the form of biomass.

“In a place like California if people left overnight, California would still burn and it would burn explosively and there would be fires that would burn all the way to the Pacific Ocean, so your not going to eliminate the fundamentals of those conditions," Pyne said.

Pyne also said that although we want to prevent and contain bad fires, at the same time we want to promote good fires. Good fires enhance the environment and make it more inhabitable for ourselves and other creatures.

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Elly Lundberg joined KJZZ as a news intern in September 2018. She is a junior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication as well as a member of Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. Lundberg is majoring in sports journalism with a focus in news broadcasting and is also minoring in business. Lundberg previously wrote for AZPrep365.com, reporting on various high school sporting events around Phoenix. She has also done color commentating on the Pac-12’s online streams for ASU indoor volleyball matches.Lundberg is a member of ASU’s Pac-12 beach volleyball team and has competed as a top seed on the Sun Devils roster for the past two seasons.Lundberg is from San Francisco, and in her free time, she loves to go backpacking, camping, skiing and boating.