enormous wildfires spark scramble to improve fire models

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Daniel Swain in Mercury News: California fires: Is climate change making the winds stronger?

“We have wind records going back to the 1940s,” said Park Williams, a bio-climatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York. “We don’t see any trend one way or another in the frequency or the intensity of these wind events. This year is probably going to go down as a record year, but we don’t see a trend so far.”

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, agreed. But, he said, “While there’s not much evidence at this point of a direct link between climate change and changes in offshore wind patterns, there is evidence that climate trends are increasing the likelihood that such winds coincide with dangerously dry vegetation conditions, leading to increased wildfire risk.”