A new study of Western forest fires confirms what is already apparent – wildfire seasons are getting longer and more destructive.
But researchers with the University of Idaho and Columbia University also say humans are to blame.
The study made public Monday says human-caused global warming contributed an additional 16,000 square miles of burned forests from 1984 to 2015.
Researchers say the 16,000 square miles represent half of the forest areas that burned over the last three decades.
“We’re no longer waiting for human-caused climate change to leave its fingerprint on wildfire across the western U.S.,” John Abatzoglou, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of geography at the University of Idaho, said in a statement. “It’s already here.”