Lightning started the Cougar Creek Fire in Washington and it grew to be over 41,000 acres a month after it started. Photo by Bureau of Land Management.

Ask A Scientist: Calling Out The Companies Responsible For Western Wildfires

Not only is the fire season longer, wildfires are burning larger areas more severely and at higher elevations. The average acreage that has burned every year since 2000—7 million—is more than double the annual average of 3.3 million acres in the 1990s,