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Land On Fire’ Author Discusses New Reality Of California Wildfires

Fire crews battle the Gate fire in Jamul in San Diego's East County, May 21, ...

Credit: Cal Fire

Above: Fire crews battle the Gate fire in Jamul in San Diego's East County, May 21, 2017

'Land On Fire' Author Discusses New Reality Of Wildfires

GUEST:

Gary Ferguson, author, "Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West"

Transcript

Fire crews are gaining ground on a California wildfire burning outside of Yosemite.

The Detwiler fire, in Mariposa County, has burned more than 118 square miles, 60 homes and has sent plumes of smoke as far away as Idaho.

Photo credit: Bob Gross

Book cover of "Land on Fire" next to an undated photo of author Gary Ferguson.

This is just one of a dozen fires that have ravaged the state in recent weeks. A new book makes the case that these types of fires are the new normal.

In, "Land on Fire: The New Reality of Wildfire in the West," author and nature writer Gary Ferguson writes heavy fuels, climate change and housing development are mostly to blame for mega-fires. A mega-fire is defined as a single incident that burns more than 100,000 acres.

"They (mega-fires) used to be quiet rare. Since 2000, we've had 10 years with more than a dozen mega-fires across the west. Fires are hotter. They are burning faster and it's really sort of a perfect storm," Ferguson said.

Ferguson discusses Tuesday on Midday Edition what communities across the West can do to be more "fire-wise."

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