The arid West is in the grip of a multi-decadal drought that has emptied reservoirs and reduced stream flows that serve as the lifeblood of farms, rural towns and coastal cities. Perhaps the Western forest fires serve as the most compelling example to contemplate, because they have endangered lives and livelihoods. The interaction of drought, fire and local weather has created a troubled environment where a suburban home can go up in smoke overnight. Ancient sequoias are killed, neighborhoods are lost, air becomes unbreathable and businesses incinerate. Thirty-nine million acres of forest burned in the United States (mainly in the West) in the past five years. That’s an area almost half again the size of the state of Virginia.