Wildfires Rage In Texas As Spain Prepares

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It is early March and not wildfire season anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. However, wildfires the size of Rhode Island are burning in Texas. Spain is preparing for massive fires. It shows how much climate change has altered the calendar.

According to Reuters, in Spain, “Alejandro Calvo, head of Asturias’ fire prevention and extinction department, told Reuters the region has increased its budget to avert and quench wildfires by almost 20%, to 70 million euros ($75.7 million), and hired more firefighters and foresters to establish 24-hour surveillance systems.” Scientists say the temperature in the region has risen sharply in the last several years. There were hundreds of wildfires in the area last year. 

Texas Record

While climate change is blamed for the wildfire’s size in Texas, a source of energy may have started it. Utility company Xcel Energy has electric lines that people in the area say started the first blaze. According to Bloomberg, “A unit of Xcel Energy Inc. was sued over claims that broken power equipment started the worst wildfire in Texas history, which has charred more than 1 million acres and killed two people.” Electric utilities have been blamed for some of the largest wildfires in history. A utility pole was blamed for part of a wildfire that killed over 100 people in Lahaina last year. 

While electricity may have caused some of these fires, scientists say they would not have spread so quickly if the circumstances had not included unusually high heat and unprecedented drought.

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