Orange County residents believe drought, the frequency of wildfires and climate change are strongly connected. Extreme weather and events such as the Lahaina fire have increased climate change belief nationally and in California. The problem appears more immediate and localized.
People believe a “major factor” (68%) in the frequency of wildfires is drought. More than seventy percent (71%) believe climate change has contributed to the drought and is a major factor in the frequency of wildfires (62%).
The survey was conducted with 1,000 adult Orange County residents by Ciruli Associates and YouGov using its panel and online platform. The data was weighted to reflect OC 2020 census data. The survey, conducted from July 20–August 27, 2023, had a margin in error of ±4.8 percentage points. The survey was sponsored by COAST, an association of Orange County fire agencies and conservation groups created to assist in the prevention and mitigation of wildfires.