Fires Out West

September 21, 2018
A firefighter works to put out flames. He is fighting the Mendocino Complex Fire, in Northern California.
MARCUS YAM—LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

This summer, wildfires tore across the western United States. Firefighters worked to put them out. Still, the blazes burned down homes and forests. They destroyed everything in their path.

The Mendocino Complex Fire burned in Northern California. It was made up of two fires, which spread across more than 450,000 acres. It was the biggest fire in the state’s history.

“We broke the record,” Scott McLean told the Los Angeles Times. He is deputy chief of Cal Fire. “That’s one of those records you don’t want to see.”

MARCUS YAM—LOS ANGELES TIMES/GETTY IMAGES

JUSTIN SULLIVAN—GETTY IMAGES

Heating Up

Most wildfires happen in hot, dry places. Some are caused by people, while others are sparked by lightning. Experts say climate change is making wildfires worse. “The warmer it is, the more fires we see,” Mike Flannigan told the Associated Press. He is a fire scientist at the University of Alberta, in Canada.

While many of the California fires are now under control, wildfire season isn’t over. Experts say wildfires can be even more destructive after September 1.