How climate change and forest management make wildfires harder to contain

Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington are some of the biggest on record, and experts said a combination of factors could continue to make them more frequent.
7:11 | 09/29/20

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Transcript for How climate change and forest management make wildfires harder to contain
This pain. Downtown pound right here. Please when he is on track to become the worst fire seasons on record and go. 55 years old when their big homeless. Over the last several decades. Annual wildfires can configure and that are taking pain my community is on fire. And we're here to protect our community that we can only do so much sometimes felt very. Our neighbor. So what's changed three tires so much worse. And what can we do to fix. It's. Over the last 24 hours were getting has experienced. Unprecedented. Fire. Fires across Washington Oregon and California. Are setting records for some of the largest buyers we've ever seen burning millions of acres we. I have never woken up with smoke three of the last five years choking my my grandchildren. I've never seen a national cars before. The area and that was burned this year has broken records currently. Three of the top I am and I just wildfires on record in California they're all burning right now. Last year this time this date. We had 5136. Fires. Only burning 152000. Acres. Again this year 3.4 million acres a close to 8000. Fires. Marsh fires have occurred throughout history. There were similar ones in the late eighteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds. Also driven by these major swing dance and drought conditions. But their frequency and the amounts and payments they do steadily increased over the last several decades. Experts say a combination of things have increased or higher rates over time and forced management. Could be one of Demeter actors. I it has been a part of these landscapes for as long as. Many species that we know and love these forests. And is part of it. The cycle of these forests and how to operate. Wildfires are actually essential to the health of sports. Naturally occurring fires help clear out dead and diseased plants and promote biodiversity. And ecosystem. Entries. And had evolved to be very fire resistant. For example redwood trees have very big barn it's kind of spongy and it makes it very resistance wildfires. It's also important for things like the dispersal of seeds from Hainan. And so healthy forest is one that experiences some level while higher and earning periodic price. Fire mitigation efforts in the US helped keep many man made fires from spreading out of control. It's maybe easier to develop communities that are not constantly in danger. So give. Why is being one of the success ad campaigns in history Greg on the eve and her horse factors. I expression is very touching construction in order to seeing fire out it's. Our communities and protects I'm people and and Larry led. But it's also prevented these low level natural fires from occurring frequently. Which can make fires much worse when they do happen. When these fires burn because there's gonna build I to teach and as we taking prior out of that region and they tuber were severely and it can take a long time to recover. And I want. Students are potentially be much more so you're at it would have. Historically when frequent fires put me through and removed a lot of fuel beat. A few years to decades. Additional factors like high winds and lack of rain and a nations from urban development. Greatly increased virus can especially in western states with drier forests. But climate change has been into writing first in fueling these tires. Research has shown that since about the 19 eastern 1980s. Climate change has cousin area wildfires in earnest and western west. Oh. I temperatures in the southwest. Where many large fires occurred. Has steadily increased from which many areas reaching ninety degrees regularly during the summer and and some areas reaching as high as a 130. Severely reducing snowpack and other water resources. As the climate warmed. I assume the conditions. Become warmer and drier. We Carter increasing the probability of fire to her a lot of these. It's basically drying out the conditions on hand so that when you do gets. News and ending and a fire start whether that be crowned fireworks or lightning or whatever the cause buyers can really take off because the vegetation is dry. We'll smaller controlled fires may help or it's the damage caused by these large fires can decimate and and climate change reduces their chance at recovery. In some systems you. Dig it can recover quickly. You know twenty years or so in other areas can take hundreds in years. And in some areas the reality is that climate change. It's possible we mean not or is back. Because the forests that act started growing energy hundred years ago they started growing under very different climate and we have now. Picking a more aggressive approach to vegetation management might be able to help lower the risk from widespread wildfires. Officials have recommended prescribe controlled fires that can help clear out fuel delta. You need to think about Anwar prescribed burns in the southwest US. Which is something that's been done in the southeast region if you asked for a long time with great success. Finding a balance and unfortunately anything. Over the last edu users the pendulum definitely swung art parts tires ashen and now we're trying to hire back but that's Allen's. But forest management measures alone are probably not enough to fix these problems. I didn't change is expected to continue to cause her wildfire season with you longer and more intense. And we need to be working our hardest to try to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions so that we prevent these fires from growing even more expensive that your. Reporters. Really be changing that he's about change. Is really what has lot of fronts concern right now in terms of how resilient these forests are going to be. I think in racking up hazing that it is. Lots of different causes back you actually lead to solutions because it gives us lots of different things that we can address. A.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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