Droughts can create ideal conditions for wildfires. Dry trees and vegetation provide fuel. Low soil and air moisture make it easier for fires to spread quickly. In these conditions, a spark from lightning, electrical failures, human error or planned fires can quickly get out of control. As Earth’s climate warms and precipitation patterns change, increasingly severe droughts will leave some areas of the world vulnerable to increasingly severe fires. Understanding how fires behave in dry conditions can help firefighters, first responders and others prepare for a hotter, drier future.
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