4 News Now Q&A: How does extreme heat fuel wildfires?

Q: How does extreme heat fuel wildfires?

A: Scientists say excessive heat and drought across the region is creating a perfect storm for wildfires and poor air quality.

In fact, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than half of the West is experiencing extreme drought conditions, and water in soils is at a historic low point, meaning there is little moisture to absorb the heat.

Climate change contributes to those drought conditions and makes trees and shrubs more likely to catch fire.

Scientists say climate change is affecting the number and intensity of fire not just in the U.S. but worldwide. A new study found the 2019 fires in Australia, which burned more than 50 million acres were impacted by human caused climate change.

Another study showed climate change has doubled the number of extreme risk days for California wildfires.

Heatwaves are also becoming more humid, which increases the chances of lightning strikes that start fires.

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