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What Sparks US Wildfires: Power Lines, Burning Trash and Lightning

Brian K Sullivan of Bloomberg reports on the causes of recent U.S. wildfires.

The C3 Take
  • The 2018 Camp fire in California that killed more than 80 people was caused by faulty power lines from PG&E, the state’s largest utility.
  • Meanwhile, the 2020 August Complex fire was ignited by a lightning strike.
  • As climate change prolongs droughts and wildfire seasons, policymakers must lower barriers for active forest management activities on private, state, and federal lands.

“Across the nation, wildfires are growing in intensity and frequency as climate change sparks prolonged droughts. The initial cause can vary — a spark from downed electric lines, a lightning strike or a cigarette butt tossed out a car window — but the result is the same: Once vegetation dries out, it can easily ignite.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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