Increasing extent, severity, and intensity of wildfires has been attributed to a changing climate, and in particular, to increases in average maximum temperatures. Forest Service scientists were invited to contribute to a special report to the Executive Office of the President about fiscal risks of the future. The scientists estimated the impact of climate change on area burned and the cost of suppressing wildfires on lands managed by both the Forest Service and the Department of Interior. Expenditures for suppressing wildfires are a function of these characteristics of wildfires: extent, severity and intensity. So they expect that the Forest Service and Department of Interior agencies will spend increasing amounts to protect people, buildings, and infrastructure from damages from wildfires. The scientists found evidence that the area burned increases as temperatures increase. The results also show that the costs of wildfire are increasing with area burned. While the scientists only used one measure of climate trends, temperature is a good proxy for many of the impacts that a changing climate will have on wildfires. Climate change was represented by using an average of daily maximum temperatures for each region of the U.S. Increased temperatures have been shown to lead to increased lightning, which causes 45 percent of all wildfires. The results of the study indicate federal expenditures on wildfires will continue to increase as long as temperatures continue to increase.