Climate change spurs California’s worst year of wildfires in recorded history

By Russell Reinap

In 2020, California saw more acres burned than any other year on record– and more than the past three years combined. Despite making headlines, gender reveal parties aren’t the main culprit. Learn how climate change is exacerbating the devastating fires in the Golden State.

Video, illustration and narration by Russell Reinap
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A bar graph displaying the number of acres burned each year in California from 2011 through 2021 (as of 10/13/2021). The graph shows a clear increasing trend in number of acres burned since 2011, with 2020 being the highest year, more than doubling any previous year's number.

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Acres burned in California wildfires have shown an increasing trend over the past decade. 2020 had double the acres burned of any previous year over the past decade. 2021 is already over halfway to equaling 2020’s numbers, and it’s only mid-September.