California in Flames: A Literature Review on the Causes and Effects of Wildfires


  • Tridib Chakraborty
  • Jordana Composto Princeton University



wildfires, california, climate change, global warming, logging, biodiversity


Throughout the hot and arid months, (May - September) anthropogenic impacts are causing wildfires to spread immensely in California and are inflicting devastating damage on the surrounding environment. Normally, naturally occurring fires are one of the best things that could help stabilize forest ecosystems. However, human impacts on the environment, ranging from increased fossil fuel consumption to growing logging industries have caused wildfires to spiral out of control. When the natural biosphere gets thrown out of balance, mass death and loss of biodiversity follows. This decrease in biodiversity could cascade into the extinctions of thousands of flora and fauna species across the West Coast. With the world's population increasing and more stress being put on natural resources, there is a growing fear that humans will eventually destroy the ancient forest biomes if no steps are taken to end the plague of wildfires. Currently, the techniques used to help control wildfires are not enough to stop them from causing massive damage to California’s biosphere. Messy cleanups after logging operations and other careless human behavior are still the biggest reasons behind preventable wildfires. If the climate crisis and other human activities are not addressed immediately, the state could lose its most species-rich areas forever. 


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Author Biography

Jordana Composto, Princeton University


Social Psychology PhD Candidate at Princeton with a background in environmental economics, data science, and business strategy. My research interests are social norms, organizational behavior, and decision making. My technical expertise are in data science and data analysis (using R, SAS packages, Excel, and SQL) and text analysis (using R). My professional background is as a business consultant, data scientist, and research coordinator. I received by BA in Quantitative Social Science (with honors) and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College.

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How to Cite

Chakraborty, T., & Composto, J. (2022). California in Flames: A Literature Review on the Causes and Effects of Wildfires. Journal of Student Research, 11(2).



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