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Risk Of Extreme Fall Wildfire Conditions Is Rising

The Maria Fire on Nov. 1, 2019 (David McNew/Getty Images)
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Wildfires are about as Californian as towering redwoods and golden poppies, but they've seemed particularly bad in recent years, especially in the fall.

It's not your imagination -- 2017 and 2018 were the worst years for wildfires in the state's recorded history, and the majority of the destructive conflagrations happened in autumn.

Over the past 40 years, extreme fire weather days, which lead to those huge fires, have become more common, particularly between September and November.

And they're likely to become even more of an issue through the end of the century. That's what a team of leading researchers say in the journal Environmental Research Letter.

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In case it wasn't clear, climate change is a major driver of worsening conditions.

The number of extreme fire weather days could more than triple by the end of the century. Meaning, autumn wildfires could become even more of a late year staple.

Curbing emissions, better brush management and resisting the urge to build deeper into the wildland urban interface, could help us mitigate some of the impacts discussed in the report.

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