If you've noticed that there seem to be more wildfires every year in the western United States, your observation is correct.
The wildfires are costly to fight and can be deadly for firefighters, as was the case with the Yarnell Hill Fire. The risk of wildfires in the western United States will only increase, according to environmental scientists, who are citing climate change as one of the main causes.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has boiled down climate-change effects on wildfires into simpler terms, as you can see in the infographic below:
(Click here for larger graphic.)
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
In addition to this, the fire-fighting efforts are eating more and more of the Forest Service's budget every year. Firefighting resources can be scarce at times, as evidenced by equipment not being delivered as ordered to fight the Yarnell Hill Fire, as other fires were being battled at the same time.
Believe it or not, this year's fire season hasn't been that bad so far, in terms of the number of fires and amount of land burned.