Global warming brings wildfire risk to rainy US Northwest

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a block of houses are carved into a forest along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in the Cascade foothills of North

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a block of houses are carved into a forest along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in the Cascade foothills of North

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Jason Ritchie holds his phone with a photo he took of a wildfire behind his home four years earlier, in Samm

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Jason Ritchie holds his phone with a photo he took of a wildfire behind his home four years earlier, in Samm

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Wayne Elson poses for a photo in the backyard of his home, where gravel beds and landscaping kept green help

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Wayne Elson poses for a photo in the backyard of his home, where gravel beds and landscaping kept green help

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a development of houses stand next to a forest and in view of Mt. Si in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash.

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a development of houses stand next to a forest and in view of Mt. Si in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash.

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses stand adjacent to a forest in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Wash. Experts say global warming is changing t

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses stand adjacent to a forest in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Wash. Experts say global warming is changing t

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Amy and Jason Ritchie stand in the backyard of their home, adjacent to a forest of conifer and deciduous tre

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Amy and Jason Ritchie stand in the backyard of their home, adjacent to a forest of conifer and deciduous tre

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a block of houses is surrounded on three sides by a forest in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash. Experts sa

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, a block of houses is surrounded on three sides by a forest in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash. Experts sa

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Amy and Jason Ritchie stand in the backyard of their home, adjacent to a forest of conifer and deciduous tre

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Amy and Jason Ritchie stand in the backyard of their home, adjacent to a forest of conifer and deciduous tre

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, photo Wayne Elson reaches out to a dead tree that he says he needs to cut down, as it could fall and block the road in a

In this Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, photo Wayne Elson reaches out to a dead tree that he says he needs to cut down, as it could fall and block the road in a

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Wayne Elson looks up at a dead tree that he says he needs to cut down, as it could fall and block the road i

In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, Wayne Elson looks up at a dead tree that he says he needs to cut down, as it could fall and block the road i

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses stand adjacent to a forest in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Wash.  Experts say global warming is changing

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses stand adjacent to a forest in the Seattle suburb of Issaquah, Wash. Experts say global warming is changing

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses are backed up to a forest in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash. Experts say global warming is changi

In this photo taken July 24, 2019, houses are backed up to a forest in the Cascade foothills of North Bend, Wash. Experts say global warming is changi

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) — The famously rainy coastal Pacific Northwest has long been shielded from the wildfire risks faced by drier states, but that may no longer be true.

Experts say global warming is bringing higher temperatures, lower humidity and longer stretches of drought. And that means wildfire risks will extend into areas that haven't experienced major burns.

While communities in drier areas have adopted wildfire-oriented development rules, many towns in wetter parts have not. Instead, development has been broadly allowed in pockets encircled by forest in the coastal territory stretching from northwestern Oregon to British Columbia.

Researchers say it's difficult to predict exactly when the region may start seeing more significant wildfires. But they say even a modest increase in contributing factors, like days without rain, could make forests more vulnerable.