Heat + lack of rain create drought, and in areas that experience seasonal drought already, the duration of those periods is increasing at an alarming rate.
Temperatures worldwide are on the rise (2017 was one of the hottest years on record) and rainfall patterns are changing. While these conditions come with a whole host of challenges, they’re also the building blocks for a formidable threat: wildfire.
Greenland, known for icy climates, recently experienced its worst wildfire on record—and experts say it’s a warning sign of things to come. In 2017 alone, the country saw a 300 percent increase in fires from the previous year.
While environmental and atmospheric conditions are increasing the incidence of wildfires, the best way to prevent them is to practice fire safety. At least 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, so ensuring that we take extra care is essential. Before starting a fire, check your local weather service for fire danger levels—dry conditions and high winds can spur the spread of fires. Avoid leaving fires unattended, make sure you have water or other methods of extinguishing a fire on hand at all times.
Finally, keep on the lookout for more unlikely fire starters: In 2017, a fire spread across 150-acres in Denver, Colorado because of a cigarette butt.
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