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Climate Impacts Group Scientists Tapped for Expertise on West Coast Climate Fires

As multiple fires on the West Coast devastate towns and fill the air with toxic smoke, people are looking for answers. Multiple regional news outlets have relied on experts from EarthLab Member Organization Climate Impacts Group to provide clarity into the current situation and hope for the future.

Climate Change Front of Mind as Cloud of Smoke Chokes Washington Again, KING-5, Sept. 11
Fires and smoke are sometimes called the “new normal” of climate change in the Northwest. But some hope these events will be yet another wake-up call. Climate Impacts Group Director Amy Snover is quoted.

“It’s terrifying to see what’s happening,” Snover said. “It’s upsetting to see what’s happening. And the worst of it is, it’s only going to get worse until we decide we don’t want it to get worse anymore, and reduce and eliminate greenhouse emissions.”

Threat Multiplier: How Climate Change, Coronavirus and Weather are Scorching WA, Seattle Weekly, Sept. 9
Fires swept across the state and much of the west in the first full week of September. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, draws the connection between wildfire and climate change.

Gusty Winds, Hot Weather and Wildfires: Will Washington See More of This in the Future? KOMO-4, Sept. 9
For the third day in a row, relentless winds from the east and northeast helped to significantly increase the fire danger across western Washington amid mounting requests for residents to avoid starting any new fires. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, is quoted.

Multiple Wildfires Devastate Large Swaths Of Areas In Eastern Washington, NPR, Sept. 9
In Washington state, fires burned more land in a day than they normally burn in entire fire seasons. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, discussed the connection between climate change and wildfire for National Public Radio.

“Basically, climate change is loading the dice” when it comes to wildfire risk, Crystal says. “And then you get a wind event, and things are just ready to go.”

Officials Say Stay Inside: Unhealthy Air Through Wednesday, Herald, Sept. 9
Smoke from more than two dozen wildfires in central and eastern Washington, as well as some in Canada, covered north Puget Sound Monday night. Crystal Raymond, climate adaptation specialist, is quoted.