Firefighters, legislators, and residents on the East Coast should watch carefully the way their California counterparts are dealing with wildfires tearing through the state. The combined forces that brought about the blaze are growing more and more present in the Northeast, said Stephen Flynn, founding director of Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute.

“The sooner we get our act together here, the better,” Flynn said, speaking from the university’s Boston campus. “There’s a lot we can learn here on the East Coast.”

Wildfires in northern and southern California have devastated broad swaths of the state, killing more than 60 people and destroying thousands of homes. While it’s still unclear what sparked the fires, there are several factors that accelerated them, said Flynn, who last year published a report on the changing landscape of wildfires for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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