The Terrifying Science Behind California's Massive Blaze


“We're seeing urban conflagrations, and that's the real phase change in recent years,” says Stephen Pyne, a wildfire expert at Arizona State University. It used to be that fires destroyed exurbs or scattered enclaves. “But what's remarkable is the way they're plowing over cities, which we thought was something that had been banished a century ago.”

The Camp Fire horror show, which burned 70,000 acres in 24 hours, and has now reached 125,000 acres, is a confluence of factors.