Explainer: Drought creates a perfect storm for wildfires in US West

Source(s)
Thomson Reuters

By Andrew Hay

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What’s driving the wildfires is exceptional drought conditions in large areas of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Severe droughts used to happen every four to five decades but are becoming frequent. In New Mexico, such dry periods have occurred in five years since 2000, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Kerry Jones in Albuquerque.

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Rising average temperatures in the West are also stoking fires. Areas such as northern New Mexico and southern Colorado have been in long-term drought since around 2000.

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Rising average temperatures in the West are also stoking fires. Areas such as northern New Mexico and southern Colorado have been in long-term drought since around 2000.

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