SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Idaho and Washington State University will be working to map where severe wildfires are likely to occur in the Northwest thanks to a $2.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the four-year grant will help researchers model where fires will burn the hottest and cause the most destruction in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. While home destruction is a major concern, a UI professor says the extreme heat of some fires can also reduce soil's ability to absorb water, which can lead to flooding and mudslides.

Wildfires have scorched more than 1 million acres in the Northwest this year and researchers say climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of wildfires.

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