In regard to the recent wildfires, Gary Pederson wrote (10/29, Letters), “…now it appears that global warming, according to Harry Reid, caused the fires in Southern California. Since that now doesn’t seem to be the case … I guess he’ll resort to blaming … arson … on global warming.”
Mr. Pederson’s sarcastic tone belies the fact that nobody is claiming that global warming caused the fires. The real issue is how they burn. The chief firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service says that fires burn much larger areas and last longer than they did 15 years ago (“60 Minutes”).
Because of drought and hot Santa Ana winds, the fuel for the fires is as dry as it has ever been, and the winds coming off the warmer ocean also contribute to more serious fires.
These are some of the ways global warming plays a role in wildfires.