E & T Magazine – Experts call for tech upgrades to help fight wildfires

The latest fires in California show that rich western developed nations lack the technology to battle them. New approaches are needed.

The state of California was overwhelmed by wildfires this year. Although fires happen every year, it could be a decisive factor to influence how Americans vote in November’s US general election.

A month before the official wildfire season started, more than 2.5 million acres (10,000km2) burned prematurely. The peak of the fire season normally occurs around November, but by 30 August the area burned was observed to be 35 times higher than last year.

Climate change makes fires less predictable. The fires themselves are a fairly normal and annual spectacle in and around the Golden State. But their timing, their extent and the impact on local residents are all far from normal.

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