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Published on Sunday October 25, 2020 - 8:18 PM
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In Oregon, we have watched California experience devastating wildfires year after year. This summer, we watched our own state burn. Many Oregonians lost their homes, neighborhoods, and lives as multiple, formidable fires overtook the state.

The question on everyone's mind is why? And more importantly, how do we stop it from happening again?

Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute and professor at OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science Erica Fleishman says that climate change is partially to blame.

"Climate change is one of the factors that is increasing the number, size, and severity of wildfires," Fleishman said. "In Oregon, the largest wildfires historically have occurred in relatively warm, dry summers, and such summers are becoming more frequent."

In August 2020, most of the Pacific Northwest experienced below-normal precipitation and above average temperatures – the perfect, devastating formula for wildfires.

Generally, the average annual temperatures have increased by ...