A wave of dangerous heat has settled in across much of the western United States. In addition to straining electrical grids—even in states that didn’t deliberately isolate themselves from their neighbors—as huge areas grapple with triple-digit temperatures, the hot, dry, windy conditions represents an increased fire risk. The prolonged heat, high evaporation, and low rainfall are also exacerbating a severe and ongoing drought that is gripping many regions in the West.
As horrible as the last few fire seasons have been in California, conditions are in place to make 2021 worse than anything that has come before. Those conditions extend well beyond the borders of the Golden State, and this is a phenomenon that extends well beyond a bad week or even a bad year. Across the West, the flow of water in streams and rivers is at record lows. So is the level of water stored in lakes and … Read the rest