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82,000 Evacuated as ‘Once in a Lifetime' Wildfire Shocks California

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82,000 Evacuated as ‘Once in a Lifetime' Wildfire Shocks California
Paul Buck / EPA

With more than 25,000 acres still burning, firefighters managed to achieve four percent containment of the Blue Cut fire in California late Wednesday night.

The blaze, which spread from a few acres to 30,000 in just 24 hours, was called a "once in a lifetime kind of fire" by the U.S. Forest Service. Sizzling temperatures, tree die-off and the ongoing drought—exacerbated by climate change—created a perfect storm of conditions for the fire.

Wildfires of this magnitude don't usually occur until the fall, but climate change is making wildfire season longer and more intense.

Here's a map showing the Blue Cut Fire:

For a deeper dive:

News: LA Times, Washington Post, ThinkProgress, US News & World Report, Pacific Standard, PBS Newshour, Wall Street Journal

Commentary: TIME, Justin Worland column

Background: Climate Signals

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