In 2018, California was already in its sixth consecutive year of drought setting the stage for the Camp Fire, the most destructive fire in California’s history. The fire burned an area larger than the city of Chicago and destroyed 14,000 buildings. We usually think of climate change in the context of more flooding more intense hurricanes, and rising sea levels. But some areas of the world are forecasted to get drier and hotter as the climate warms up. Fire needs two things: enough fuel and fuel that’s dry enough to catch fire. More droughts probably mean more fire as vegetation dries out. However, if those droughts continue for a long period, like a megadrought, it can actually mean less fire. Because without plants, fires may run out of fuel to burn. But this actually isn’t a new problem. A recent study conducted by two NASA scientists was the first to provide evidence that human-generated greenhouse gas emissions were influencing drought patterns as long ago as the early 1900s. NASA’s push to understand our past is in large part driven by the need to predict our future — to stay one step ahead of fires. To do this, researchers create models that not only help firefighters better predict where and how a fire might spread, but also help forest managers know when a planned burn is safe. NASA scientists monitor both freshwater and fires constantly, from space, the air and the ground, collecting short- and long-term data as Earth’s climate continues to change. Looking to the future, models are one of the best tools we have to prepare for changing drought and fire seasons around the world.