A number of factors are causing the fires in Southern California to rage: the region has received nine inches less rain than normal, and climate change has led to warmer days and longer fire seasons. But experts also say that the US Forest Service’s policy of stopping wildfires quickly contributed to the problem, too. This allowed the underbrush to survive, providing fuel for future fires. Basically, putting out one fire too quickly gave the next one a better chance to thrive. The Christian Science Monitor has an interesting piece on the various contributors to the problem.—Gregory Mone