The U.S. West Coast has been battling catastrophic drought and record-threatening fires for weeks, and the situation is likely to worsen over the summer. What people in California and New Mexico are experiencing now may become more common in other U.S. states over time, according to research conducted by the First Street Foundation.
The purpose of the study is to develop a fire behavior model based on the availability of dry plants or building materials – weather and flammable factors. Based on the data collected, experts from the First Street Foundation studied the risk of burning 140 million homes and public buildings across the United States. This model was used to assess the current fire risk and forecasts for 2052.
The First Street Foundation is a non-profit organization that specializes in research and technology and specializes in flood risk assessment, primarily in the United States.
Safe shelters will become rare
The study found that by 2052, nearly 80 million properties in the United States will be at wildfire, and 30.4 million buildings will be at least moderate in fire risk. A large number of risk areas are located Nevada, California, New Mexico And Texas, states that are already struggling with this element on a regular basis today.
However, scientists were alarmed by the trend of “hot spots” moving east. Two states on the east coast of the United States, North and South Carolina, have an unusually high fire risk. New Hampshire or Georgia – favorable conditions for fires were found even in what were hitherto considered “safe havens”.
“The risk of fire is increasing much faster than flooding,” said Ed Gearns, co-author of the study. – “Wildfires” will soon appear in areas where there is no danger – he adds.
As Matthew AB, director of the First Street Foundation, points out, “Before modeling began, scientists did not expect fire hazards to become so widespread.”
Hurricanes and fires can occur simultaneously
The results of the study came as no surprise to Michael Werner of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (a multidisciplinary research laboratory at the University of California, subject to the U.S. Department of Energy). Researcher warns against the negative effects of rising temperatures.
– Wherever you live, climate change will negatively affect you – Scientist opinion. – Fire, drought, violent storms, hurricanes – a choice – he adds.
Bad weather also makes emergency services anxious. Until now, with the wildfire season ending in the west, most forces have been diverted eastward to fight the effects of the hurricane. However, the risk of both types of disasters occurring simultaneously is increasing.
“Such a situation will definitely deplete our resources and make it harder to help those affected by fire and hurricanes,” says Jonathan Golden, a firefighter who has repeatedly fought the effects of the fire.
“No fire time”
Isaac Sanchez of the California Fire Department says bluntly, “There is no such thing as a fire season.” – We have been trying to explain it for many years. Since there is such a thing as a fire season, we avoid the term because it implies that there is a time when fires do not occur. It is not so – he insists.
Reuters, First Street Foundation, CNN, tvnmeteo.pl
Key Photo Source: PAP / EPA / ETIENNE LAURENT
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