New research by scientists at the University of Wyoming suggests extreme wildfire seasons are nothing new in the Rocky Mountain region. They happened hundreds of years ago, after global temperatures had risen to a level about where they are today. The study suggests that bad fire seasons like the one three years ago could become more commonplace due to global warming. That would suggest warming trends are more of a natural occurrence than a human caused phenomenon. A co-author of the study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences calls it a “new normal.” The researchers studied layers of burned wood in the sediment beneath ponds in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. They found that wildfires 1,000 years ago were more than two-and-a-half times more frequent than they were in the 20th century.