“It’s Not Just the West. These Places Are Also on Fire.”

“Extreme temperatures and more severe droughts, the result of human-caused climate change, have created a world that’s ready to burn.”

“Wildfires are devastating the American West, but the United States isn’t the only place on Earth that’s burning. This year, other countries have also experienced their worst wildfires in decades, if not all of recorded history.

In each case, the contributing factors are different, but an underlying theme runs through the story: Hotter, drier seasons, driven by the burning of fossil fuels, have made the world more prone to erupt in flames.

“We don’t have a fire problem; we have many fire problems,” said Stephen J. Pyne, an emeritus professor at Arizona State University who studies wildfires and their history. “One, obviously, is a deep one. It has to do with fossil fuels and climate.””

Veronica Penney reports for the New York Times September 16, 2020.