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Already, 2022 is taking its place in a pantheon of years that have seen the nature of fire change — and all parts of the world fall under threat. It’s only expected to get worse, with drought and heat waves looming over the horizon for many parts of the globe.

At the epicenter of the fury will be the U.S. West, where the decadeslong megadrought has led to an “aridification,” according to Daniel Swain, a climatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. So far this year, more than 24,000 fires have burned across the U.S., the highest in at least 10 years, National Interagency Fire Center data show.

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