While people in the West are suffering through record-breaking heat, wildfires are ravaging many areas, especially in California, and red-flag warnings have been issued from the Northwest into the Rockies. 
by CNN
There were at least 77 large complexes of wildfires burning in 15 states across the country -- almost a third of them in California, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
The fires have burned at least 649,054 acres in the 14 states where fires are still spreading, according to the NIFC.
Some 45 million people remain under some sort of heat warning or advisories, and no reprieve from the record heat in the West is expected until the weekend.
Most of California and some surrounding areas are under an excessive heat warning from the National Weather Service.
Here's where the largest of the fires have been reported as of Tuesday evening, according to the NIFC, which counts area fires as complexes, not single fires. These numbers will be updated as soon as new data is available.
Wildfires will be more common 
in a warming world
CALIFORNIA BURNS every year. But amid a record-breaking heatwave, 2020 is the fieriest year yet. As The news press, more than 7,600 fires had burned over 2.5m acres (1m hectares) of land. The season still has months to run.
California wildfires map, by latimes 
That fits a long-term trend, for California’s wildfires are getting steadily worse. Blazes in the 2010s burned 6.8m acres on average, up from 3.3m acres in the 1990s. The fire season lasts nearly three months longer now than it did in the 1970s. Over the past decade, the state has spent an average of $3.7bn a year fighting fires. 
 “wildland-urban interface” (WUI)
The reason is a double whammy of climate change and development.
More homes are being built next to forests, in what experts call the “wildland-urban interface” (WUI). A 2018 study estimated that roughly a third of American homes were in the WUI. The problem is acute in California. Pricey housing has pushed people onto cheaper land close to the wilderness.
 Climate change
At the same time, climate change is extending the dry season, which stores up fuel for fires
In California, a chronic “megadrought”—in which dry years become more common and wet ones scarcer—is making matters even worse. One paper, citing tree-ring data, concluded that the drought, which started around 2000, is the second-worst in the past 1,200 years. It, too, has been linked to climate change.
reduce the risk of 
catastrophic blazes
“It’s not that different to building on an earthquake-prone landscape,” says Max Moritz, a wildfire expert at the University of California at Santa Barbara. 
Buildings and communities can be built in such a way that fires sweep through them—or better still, around them—leaving them more-or-less intact. 
Infrastructure can be made more resilient.
And forests themselves can be managed to
reduce the risk of catastrophic blazes.
Experts recommend a five-foot “non-combustible zone” around the base of homes.
来源:CNN、latimes、Economist,图片来源于网络,如侵删。

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