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 Colorado's East Troublesome Fire in October 2020. Photo credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

NSF Science Matters: Wildfire and climate change: A burning issue

By Jared Dashoff

September 2, 2021

Wildfires are a nearly constant threat to lives, homes and business – an impact that cannot be diminished – but they are also a threat to ecosystems and climates. A changing climate can make some areas more susceptible to fire and increase the prevalence and size of fires in existing hot spots. Recent research shows the Rocky Mountains are burning more than at any time in the last 2,000 years due to climate change.