6 of 20 largest California wildfires were in 2020
Six of the 20 largest wildfires in modern California history have been this year, the N.Y. Times reports (subscription) in "A Climate Reckoning in Fire-Stricken California."
What they're saying: "It's really shocking to see the number of fast-moving, extremely large and destructive fires simultaneously burning," Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, told The Times.
- "I've spoken to maybe two dozen fire and climate experts over the last 48 hours and pretty much everyone is at a loss of words. There’s certainly been nothing in living memory on this scale."
The context: We can never remind you of this often enough: 18 of the warmest 19 years have occurred since 2001, according to NASA.
- We just experienced the warmest decade ever.
The latest: 500,000 Oregonians — more than 10 percent of the state's 4.2 million people — have been told to evacuate as flames encroach, AP reports.
- More than 1,400 square miles have burned in Oregon this week.
- In Washington state, wildfires have scorched 937 square miles.
- In a Northern California wildfire, 10 people are confirmed dead, as searchers look for 16 missing people.