Wildfires like the Delta Fire are occurring at an increased frequency in California. Many point to climate change as the primary driver of the increased frequency, severity and magnitude of the recent fires in Northern California (Camp, Mendocino Complex, and Carr).
The current Northern California wildfire crisis is being driven by changes in climatic conditions that when coupled with a significant increase in development over the last 25 years in the wildland urban interface and for that matter in what were once predominantly rural counties with low populations (Shasta, Napa, Sonoma, Butte and Mendocino) has led to a shift in wildfire suppression tactics. Initial attack resources now forced to focus on protecting life and property at the expense of aggressively attacking fires. Hence the proverbial Catch 22 occurs the fire expands in size and more life and property is at risk requiring more resources for evacuations and structure protection. The success of suppressing wildfires after World War II has led to an unprecedented accumulation of biomass in the forest ecosystems of California creating energy release conditions that compromise firefighter and public safety. The choice we Californians have is to manage the forests we all love or unfortunately the forests will manage us.