Enormous wildfires spark scramble to improve fire models

“Researchers have been at a loss to explain a flurry of unusual fire behaviour in California in recent years: wildfires that burn hot throughout the night instead of settling down, as many used to; blazes that race down hillsides faster than before; and fires that torch suburban neighbourhoods once considered safe from such events. And in July, a tornado with unprecedented wind speeds of 230 kilometres per hour spun up inside a fire near Redding, California.

The problem, Moritz says, is that most of the fire models in use today are based on data from the past two or three decades. But it seems that fire behaviour might be shifting in response to climate faster than anybody expected, and that makes it increasingly problematic to extrapolate from past trends, he adds.”

Click here to read more from Nature.

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