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Dear Stupid People,

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Sep. 1st, 2009 | 11:32 am

Please stop building expensive homes in the tinder forest. Or if you do, don't expect us to spend money saving them.

warming climate encourages wildfires through a longer summer period that dries fuels, promoting easier ignition and faster spread. Westerling et al. (2006 — see here) found that, in the last three decades, the wildfire season in the western U.S. has increased by 78 days, and burn durations of fires >1000 ha have increased from 7.5 to 37.1 days, in response to a spring-summer warming of 0.87°C

“the majority of [Forest Service] large fire suppression costs are directly linked to protecting private property in the WUI [Woodland Urban Interface],” with Forest Service managers estimating between 50 and 95 percent of large fire costs spent on that purpose alone.

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