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Big wildfires get boost from fewer cool, moist nights

Wildland firefighters dread "the witching hour" and relish the arrival of nightfall. The "witching hour" of late afternoon is the period when temperatures and winds are at their highest, and both slack off in darkness. Used to, anyway.

As the Earth gets hotter, so do the nights. The temperature drops and humidity rises of nighttime are no longer such sure things, as recent research out of the Earth Lab at the University of Colorado shows. That means firefighters have less chance to get the upper hand on a fire.

Adam Mahood is a post-doc researcher at the lab.

He visits the Exchange with some key points of the recent paper.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.