That Washington, Oregon and Northern California have been hard hit by wildfires this year suggests that other factors are playing a bigger role than hotter temperatures — because it's actually getting cooler in the Pacific Northwest, said Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
"The problem with wildfires is not climate change. For example, the number of big catastrophic fires has gone up in the Northwest, and yet the Northwest is in a cooling cycle," said Mr. Ebell. "The problem with the Western forests is there's just far too much fuel that's been built up. Under pressure from the environmental movement, we have stopped logging in our national forests."