FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Deadly wildfires in California are forcing a conversation about how to minimize the danger to millions of people.
Kevin Ryan, a former U.S. Forest Service fire scientist, said wildfires are often predictable, so the public must choose more wisely where to build communities in order to minimize the risk.
A fire still burning near Lake Isabella east of Bakersfield, California, killed an elderly couple and destroyed hundreds of homes. Last year, six people died in fast-moving California wildfires.
A report by the nonpartisan Climate Central says that 11 million Californians are at risk of wildfire and that climate change will lengthen wildfire season.
NASA climatologist Bill Patzert says climate change is a real factor. But he says California has irresponsibly built homes in wildlands as the state’s population exploded in recent decades.