Indonesia’s peatlands, California’s forests, and now much of Argentina’s wetlands have all been devastated by extreme forest fires, foretelling a fiery future and a pressing need to prevent it.

As climate change causes droughts and farmers deforestation, the number of extreme forest fires is expected to rise by 30% over the next 28 years.

And they are now scorching environments that previously were not vulnerable to burn, such as the Arctic tundra and Amazon rainforest.

Meanwhile, the slow disappearance of cold, wet nights that once helped moderate fires means they are more difficult to set out, as a second study published last week in the journal Nature shows.

Since overnight temperatures have risen faster than temperatures during the last four decades, researchers found a 36% increase in the number of hours after nightfall that were warm and dry enough to keep fire burning.

‘This is a mechanism that’ s causing fires to become far bigger and more extreme,’ said Jennifer Balch, lead author of the Nature study and director of the University of Colorado Boulder ‘s Earth Lab.

The effects of any extreme fire are far reaching and extend from loss and damage to costly firefighting.

In the United States alone, the financial burdens of forest fires amount to ¥347 billion each year, according to the UNEP report.

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Wildfire

A wildfire, forest fire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation starting in rural areas and urban areas. (wikipedia)