by M. Schellenberger, Sep 10, 2020 in Forbes
“California was a very smoky place historically,” says Malcolm North of the US Forest Survey.“Even though we’re seeing area burned that is off-the-charts, it’s still probably less than what used to be burned before Europeans arrived.”
Many reporters note that more area has burned this year in California than at any other point in “the modern period,” but that period began in 1950. For the last half of the 20th Century, the annual area burned in California was just 250,000 acres a year, whereas the best-available science suggests 4.4 and 12 million acres burned in California annually before the arrival of Europeans.
See also: California Has Always Had Fires, Environmentalism Makes Them Worse