*By Carlo Versano* Two new wildfires broke out in Southern California's Ventura County on Monday, as firefighters strained their resources to contain the three blazes already rampaging across the state. In Northern California, the Camp Fire is now the deadliest in the state's history, with at least 31 dead. Outside Los Angeles, the Woolsey Fire has killed at least two and forced mass evacuations of some of the wealthiest zip codes in the country, including the celebrity haven of Malibu. Cheddar's Alyssa July Smith reported from Santa Monica that the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway was closed to non-essential services going into Malibu. The cars allowed to pass on the PCH from the north were stained by soot and ash. If the superlatives from this year's fire season sound familiar ー historic, deadliest, once-in-a-generation ー it's because they are. Of the most catastrophic fires in California's modern history, nine of 10 occurred after 2000, according to Popular Science senior editor Sophie Bushwick. And while no fire can be blamed on any sole factor, climate change is unquestionably making wildfires worse and more frequent, Bushwick said ー by way of drier land and warmer temperatures which, when combined with the accelerant of the famed Santa Ana winds blowing through the mountain passes, creates a tinder-box effect. "Global warming is making conditions ripe for \[fires\]," Bushwick said. "Ignoring it is just fool-hardy." In California, the situation is made worse by a growing population that's building homes and infrastructure closer and closer to the state's parched forests. The town of Paradise, which was more or less burned off the map by the Camp Fire, was built shoehorned into a canyon pass ー with one way in and one way out. That proved to be a death sentence for some of its residents, who tried to flee the fast-moving fire on the single road. Firefighters found at least seven bodies burned beyond recognition still in their cars, according to media reports. Bushwick considers it parallel to hurricane victims in low-lying, flood-prone areas: in other words, people living where nature says they shouldn't. "Where people choose to build their homes can make a natural disaster more of a disaster."

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