Wildfires Emitted Around 1.76 Billion Tons of Carbon in 2021

Unfortunately, 2021 was a wild year for wildfires. Blazes churned out a record amount of carbon emissions in parts of Siberia, North America, eastern and central Mediterranean, and Africa, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

In total, global wildfires caused approximately 1.76 tons of carbon emissions — 148% more than total EU fossil fuel emissions in 2020. Here’s a look at what’s causing these wildfires and what can be done to curb this dangerous trend.

Climate Change and Wildfires

Several factors play into wildfire risk, including temperature, soil moisture, and the presence of trees, shrubs, and other potential fuel, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Each of these elements are either directly or indirectly related to climate variability and climate change.

Wildfire season has also increased in many parts of America, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. There’s several reasons for this, including warmer springs, longer summer dry seasons, and drier soils and vegetation.

Tips to Help Prevent Wildfires

While climate change plays a major role in wildfires, people are the biggest problem. The overwhelming majority of wildfires — 87% — are caused by humans, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Do your part to help keep wildfires from starting by following these 10 tips from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

1. Check weather and drought conditions.

2. Build your campfire in an open location and far from flammables.

3. Douse your campfire until it’s cold.

4. Keep vehicles off dry grass.

5. Regularly maintain your equipment and vehicle.

6. Practice vehicle safety.

7. Check your tires, bearings, and axles on your trailer.

8. Keep sparks away from dry vegetation.

9. Check conditions and regulations before you use fireworks or consider safe alternatives.

10. Cautiously burn debris and never when it’s windy or restricted.

Doing your part to help stop wildfires can save lives, property, and natural resources. What might seem like one simple action could actually keep a devastating wildfire from starting.

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