Are wildfires increasing around the world?
Unusually large wildfires ravaged Alaska and Indonesia last year. This year, Canada, California and Spain have been devastated by uncontrolled flames, with Portugal and France as the newest victims of severe blazes.
So, have wildfires actually increased globally, or does it just seem that way because we're tuned in more to bad news and social media?
Science suggests that over the past few decades, the number of wildfires has indeed increased, especially in the western United States. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), every state in the western US has experienced an increase in the average annual number of large wildfires over past decades.