Satellite data record shows climate change's impact on fires

"Hot and dry" are the watchwords for large fires. In just seconds, a spark in hot and dry conditions can set off an inferno consuming thick, dried-out vegetation and almost everything else in its path. While every fire needs a spark to ignite and fuel to burn, hot and dry conditions in the atmosphere play a significant role in determining the likelihood of a fire starting, its intensity and the speed at which it spreads. Over the past several decades, as the world has increasingly warmed, so has its potential to burn.