Wildfires, whether ignited by lightning or people, show global patterns that are visible to satellites. In the United States, fire is increasing: on average, millions of more acres burn each year than was typical a few decades ago, and fire season is longer. Prolonged drought in the West, provoked by climate change, is encouraging this rise in the fire.

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Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. This visualization was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).