See What Major Factor Is Affecting Arizona's Wildfires

By Ginny Reese

April 21, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

The effects of Arizona's wildfires are already being felt across the state. According to experts, climate change is a major factor.

12 News reported that the Tunnel Fire expanded on Tuesday, being driven by a Red Flag day with extremely high winds. According to fire officials, those winds tend to lessen during the evening hours as temperatures die down overnight. That wasn't the case for Tuesday night.

University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins said, "They were not getting any recovery at night. So the fires were burning intensely through the dead of night."

According to a study published in February, temperatures are not decreasing the way they normally do during fire season. Due to that fact, the intensity of the fires continues to strengthen.

Additional research shows that fires are becoming more common across the Southwest as climate change becomes a prominent issue.

Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said, "They're wind-driven fires, they're in a specific fuel type."

Fire forecasters now have to deal with the changes in climate in predicting fire behavior. Crimmins said, "They have this sense of what does this ecosystem observe normally. What's the normal fire regime for right now in a stable climate?"

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