The climate crisis favors more extreme megafires, according to Diana Colomina, coordinator of the Forests program at WWF Spain.

A firefighter struggles to contain the spread of fire in the Los Angeles National Forest.

Megafires, such as those that affect different parts of the world, particularly in the western United States (USA), are “closely linked” to the climate crisis, causing changes in the spread of fires with more extreme features and difficult to predict.This has been assured in statements to the EFE agency Diana Colomina, coordinator of the WWF Spain Forests program, who has explained that the climate emergency “The way fires spread is changing”.Because although the casuistry of the fires in California, for example, can be very varied and the nature of a fire in this large area of ​​the United States is very different from one that occurs in the Amazon, “climate change is the common denominator “ of all these large forestry accidents, the expert stressed.In addition, according to Colomina, the combination of prolonged heat waves, together with the great accumulated drought and low humidity, are causing fires in the states of California, Oregon and Washington “Go much faster and be more virulent.”This, together with the increase in fuel accumulation in forests, causes a increased propagation velocities of the flames, which sometimes “cannot be tackled by means of extinction”, explained the general secretary of the Official College of Forest Technical Engineers, Raúl de la Calle.These so-called sixth-generation forest incidents are fires every time “More intense and difficult to predict” and they release a large amount of energy that “changes the local meteorological conditions”, added Diana Colomina.

Longest fire season

Climate change has also caused these claims to spread further over time, causing periods of fire risk are “much longer”; On a global scale, the high risk fire season has increased by six weeks, Colomina clarified.On the other hand, in California the intensity of fires “is increasing,” said the expert, who explained that of the 20 most serious fires that have occurred in the state since 1920, a dozen have been produced in the last decade.“The recipe of putting out fires with water is no longer valid, but we need invest in rural development, landscape planning and management“Added the head of the WWF Spain Forests program.

Colomina has also insisted on the importance of social conscience, since the 75% of forest fires globally are man-made, either intentionally or through negligence.In this sense, Raúl de la Calle has asserted that in areas – such as California – where there are many homes in forest areas and tens of thousands of people have had to be evacuated due to the fire, it is necessary to take preventive measures Y that society “has the perception of risk.”For this reason, it is necessary that preventive policies gain weight and “be seen as an investment”, so that the mountains “are prepared for these increasingly common situations “, has added the head of the Official College of Forest Technical Engineers.WWF Spain insists that regional governments must implement comprehensive prevention systems that promote “landscapes more resistant to fire”, as well as work on adaptation “to the new climate change scenario”.