WPR News
9:09 am
Thu May 17, 2007

Report: Global Warming Will Cause More Wildfire

Laramie, WY – Two new reports suggest that global warming is likely to greatly increase spending on fighting wildfires and greatly reduce salmon habitat in the Northwest. The University of Oregon's Institute for a Sustainable Environment projects that an average wildfire year for Oregon in the 2020s will see 50 percent more acres of forest burned than during the 20th century. By the 2040s the increase will be 100 percent. And annual state spending to fight wildfires is likely to increase from the current range of $40 million to $64 million to up to $96 million in the 2020s. The amount of precipitation over the Northwest is expected to remain about the same, but more will fall as rain and less as snow. And that would make for higher winter river flows and warmer water temperatures -- too warm for salmon in some places.