Elizabeth Miglin | July 14, 2021
Severe drought coupled with the climate crisis has culminated in a second record setting year for land burned in California’s annual wildfire season.
Reduced snowpack and early snowmelt alongside warmer temperatures in the spring and summer have created drier seasons according to CNN. In 2020, around 4.1 million acres were estimated to be burned according to the National Interagency Fire Center. However, 2021 is expected to cause far more damage. On Monday, fires had burned over 142,477 acres in the state, 103,588 more than during the same time period last year.
Scientists say the interconnectedness of heat and drought are causing a vicious feedback loop which climate change makes even more difficult to break in the region. As heat increases the drought, the drought increases the heat.
Across the country, more than 30 million people are under heat warning. The risks for underlying health issues and other dangers for those working outside are “very high” according to the National Weather Service.