Oregon Wildfires Are Climate Change ‘Playing Out Before Our Eyes:’ Governor

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Oregon Wildfires Are Climate Change ‘Playing Out Before Our Eyes:’ Governor” – below is their description.

    Oregon Governor Kate Brown says multiple wildfires burning across the drought-stricken state are another sign of the “climate crisis” affecting the entire U.S. West.

    “We’re seeing extensive drought conditions across the state, with 19 counties in drought emergencies, unprecedented heat waves and fire seasons that are arriving earlier coming on faster and lasting for longer,” Brown said Tuesday during a briefing on the status of the wildfire battle in Oregon.

    The Bootleg Fire, now 606 square miles (1,569 square kilometers) in size, has ravaged southern Oregon and is the fourth-largest fire in the state’s modern history.

    It’s been expanding by up to 4 miles (6 kilometers) a day, pushed by gusting winds and critically dry weather that’s turned trees and undergrowth into a tinderbox.

    Fire crews have had to retreat from the flames for 10 consecutive days as fireballs jump from treetop to treetop, trees explode, embers fly ahead of the fire to start new blazes and, in some cases, the inferno’s heat creates its own weather of shifting winds and dry lightning.

    Monstrous clouds of smoke and ash have risen up to 6 miles into the sky and are visible for more than 100 air miles.

    The fire in the Fremont-Winema National Forest merged with a smaller nearby blaze Tuesday, and it has repeatedly breached a perimeter of treeless dirt and fire retardant meant to stop its advance.

    More evacuations were ordered Monday night, and a red flag weather warning signifying dangerous fire conditions was in effect through Tuesday. The fire is 30% contained.

    At least 2,000 homes have been evacuated at some point during the fire and another 5,000 threatened.

    At least 70 homes and more than 100 outbuildings have gone up in flames.

    Thick smoke chokes the area where residents and wildlife alike have already been dealing with months of drought and extreme heat. No one has died.

    The Bootleg Fire was one of many fires burning in a dozen states, most of them in the West.

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    In This Story: Climate Change

    Climate Change is the name commonly given to the notion that the Earth is undergoing a changing climate as a result of human activity, including notable leaders, scientists and naturalists including Sir David Attenborough.

    Climate change includes both the global warming driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns.

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  • In This Story: Lightning

    Lightning is a giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds, the air, or the ground. Lightning can occur between opposite charges within the thunderstorm cloud (intra-cloud lightning) or between opposite charges in the cloud and on the ground (cloud-to-ground lightning). (Source: NSSL)

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