A recently retired Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist told the Pasadena Weekly that California will continue to experience deadly wildfires in large part due to climate change, California’s burgeoning population and people who choose to live dangerously in previously unpopulated wooded areas.

More than 3,300 fire personnel battled massive fires across the state, utilizing more than 330 engines and 17 helicopters, according to the Cal Fire website.

“Certainly climate change is an element,” said former JPL Climatologist William Patzert, who has studied rising temperatures for nearly 50 years. “We are definitely living in a warmer world. Temperatures in California are much warmer in the summer.”

According to Patzert, the annual temperature in California has risen by two to three degrees Fahrenheit over the past 25 years, but in the summer months it is six to eight degrees hotter than it used to be when heat waves lasted from August to September, as opposed to the hotter temperatures the region now suffers with from July to October.

According to Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian, one battalion chief was assigned to the Carr fire burning in the Redding area, near Shasta County in Northern California, but was eventually reassigned to another blaze in nearby Mendocino, where the Ranch and River fires have collectively burned more than 60,000 acres.

“As part of the nationwide mutual aid we sent a battalion chief with several neighboring fire departments,” said Derderian. “The strike team started at the Carr fire and was reassigned to Monterey County to help with the deadly and devastating fires,” Derderian said.

Two engines from Glendale are assisting in the fight against the Cranston fire along with members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The 7,500-acre brush fire erupted on July 25 and spread quickly, destroying five homes and prompting Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency.

The Carr fire near Redding killed eight people, including two firefighters, and burned over 103,000 acres by Tuesday.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), conditions expected this week could worsen the situation as high temperatures, low humidity and increased winds were expected in parts of Southern and Northern California this week.

“A dangerous heat wave will continue from California to the Pacific Northwest early this week,” officials with the NWS posted on Twitter. “Triple-digit heat combined with dry humidity will only exacerbate the ongoing wildfire situation in California.”

“We are seeing more destructive, larger fires burning at rates that we have historically never seen,” said Jonathan Cox, Cal Fire regional battalion chief.

According to Cox, since 2015 more dangerous fires have broken out across the state, burning longer due to increasing temperatures. Since 2015, seven of the 12 most destructive fires in  the country have happened in California.

“This fire is scary to us. This is something we haven’t seen before in the city,” Redding Police Chief Roger Moore told NBC News Friday night.

The Ranch fire, burning northeast of Ukiah, has scorched 35,076 acres and was only 18 percent contained by Monday. The River fire in nearby Hopland has charred 20,911 acres and firefighters had only contained about 5 percent of that fire by Tuesday.

Fires are also burning near Idyllwild, San Diego County and Riverside.

The Cranston fire near San Bernardino has burned more than 13,130 acres and was 57 percent contained.

A man accused of setting several fires in Riverside County, including the Cranston fire, was arrested last on July 25.

The Ferguson fire in Mariposa County had charred 54,481 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Monday. The fire has prompted the closure of parts of the Yosemite National Park, which will reopen to all visitors Aug. 3.

All told, 18 wildfires broke out in July leaving 10 people dead and scorching 290,036 acres.

On Monday, Pasadena firefighters responded to a garage fire in the 200 block of McDonald Street, near the Arroyo Seco. The fire was doused before it could spread.

Pasadena Fire Chief Bertral Washington said a fire retardant chemical sprayed around the Rose Bowl for Fourth of July fireworks at the stadium and other local areas is still effective.

According to Washington, the city is not under a red flag or fire alert.

“We were able to get there very, very quickly,” Washington said of the garage fire. “We are still following up to make sure some homeowners have completed their brush clearance. We want to keep people safe. We can say the vast majority of our residents have done what they needed to do that helps us avoid some really bad situations.”

Locally, there has not been a major wildfire since the Station fire in 2009 devastated the Angeles National Forest leaving two firefighters dead, 120 structures destroyed and 160,577 acres scorched. The fire was the biggest in Los Angeles County history.

The aftermath of that fire led to several changes in state law which  are now aiding firefighters across the state, including laws that now allow helicopters to drop water at night.

But according to Patzert, the problem is not a change in state laws or just climate change. It’s a combination of irreversible factors, including a booming state population that has quadrupled in the past 50 years.

“More and more people have moved to wildfire corridors where we did not build before. Have to build differently, be more fire resistant,” he said. “In California, once you get into the mountains you are no longer fighting fires; you are fighting to protect infrastructure and save lives. Fires equal people. People start them accidentally or on purpose because they are living dangerously.”

The growing communities in these areas have ended the practice of controlled burns which were once used to reduce fire hazards.

“Everything has changed,” Patzert said. “We have to readapt to a new reality, because the way we are doing it now it is getting worse each year.”