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For Immediate Release

Press Release

New UCS Web Feature Visualizes Ways Climate Change is Driving Wildfires, Experts Also Available

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -

With months still remaining in the wildfire season, already nearly 100 large fires covering roughly 3.5 million acres are currently active across the western United States, with California, Oregon and Washington being hit especially hard. The fires have forced some communities to evacuate, thousands of properties have been damaged, entire towns have been destroyed, and people have already lost their lives. 

Wildfires have always been a part of the natural landscape, but climate change is making them more frequent and intense. As a result, the wildfire season—which used to last only four months—is now occurring all year round, a shift that is increasingly disrupting and threatening people’s lives and costing progressively more money. 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has created a new online Web feature that visualizes the connections between wildfires and climate change in five sets of charts and photos. To learn more about how wildfires are getting worse, causing more harm, and being driving by climate change, as well as about how actions to manage fire-prone areas and reduce emissions can help, click here

UCS also has the following experts available to discuss this issue:

  • Dr. Rachel Cleetus, policy director and lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. She is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Click here to view her bio. 
  • Dr. Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at UCS. She is based in Oakland, California. Click here to view her bio. 
  • Dr. Carly Phillips, Kendall Fellow for protecting carbon in Alaska’s boreal forests for the Climate and Energy Program at UCS. She is based in Victoria, B.C. Click here to view her bio. 

If you would like to talk to an expert, please contact UCS Communications Officer Ashley Siefert Nunes. 

A separate fact sheet on the science connecting extreme weather events, like wildfires, and climate change can be found here.


The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

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