Cambridge IELTS 10, Test 4, Reading Passage 1: The Megafires of California, Solution With Answer Key

The Megafires of California Passage Solution with Answer Key – Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 4 Reading Passage 1. Here we will discuss detailed explanation of all the questions of the passage. Here is step by step Solution with Tips and Strategies. This post is for educational purpose only. If you find difficulties in reading passage to find the right answer in the exam, just read the post carefully. Tips and strategies will help you find the right answer.


The Megafires of California

IELTS Reading Passage Solution


IELTS Cambridge 10, Test 4  Academic Reading Module, Reading Passage 1


PASSAGE 1: The Megafires of California (View Full Passage Here)

Questions 1-6: (Completing notes with ONE WORD AND/OR A NUMBER)

** Tips (link details): How To Solve Notes, Table, Form, Summary, Flow Chart, Diagram in IELTS Reading

Questions 1 and 2: Characteristics of wildfires and wildfire conditions today compared to the past:
– Occurrence: more frequent
– Temperature: hotter
– Speed: faster
– Movement: 1 ____________ more unpredictably
– Size of fires: 2 ____________ greater on average than two decades ago.
Question 1: Movement: ____________ more unpredictably
Keywords: movement, more unpredictably
Now, the last lines of paragraph no. 1. “The wildfires themselves, experts say, are generally hotter, faster, and spread more erratically than in the past.” Here, erratically means unpredictably.
Answer: spread

Question 2: Size of fires: ____________ greater on average than two decades ago.
Keywords: size of fire, greater, than two decades ago;
Now, the first lines of paragraph no. 2 give us the answer. ““Megafires, also called ‘siege fires’ are the increasingly frequent blazes that burn 50,000 acres or more – 10 times the size of the average forest fire of 20 years ago.

Here, 20 years ago means two decades ago.
Answer: 10/ten times

Questions 3-6: Reasons wildfires cause more damage today compared to the past:
– Rainfall: 3 _________ average
– More brush to act as 4 __________
– Increase in yearly temperature
– Extended fire 5 __________
– More building of 6 __________ in vulnerable places
Question 3: Rainfall: _________ average
Keywords: rainfall, average
Now, the keyword ‘rainfall’ in paragraph no. 3 but the word is not given there directly. We can see a synonym of ‘rainfall’ in line no. 4. Let’s read lines 1-4 of paragraph no. 3. “One explanation for the trend to more superhot fires is that the region, which usually has dry summers, has had significantly below normal precipitation in many recent years.”
Here, the words ‘precipitation’ means ‘rainfall’, ‘normal’ means ‘average’.
Answer: below

Question 4: More brush to act as __________
Keywords: more brush, act as,
Now, in lines 9-11 of paragraph no. 3, where the author says, “The unintentional consequence has been to halt the natural eradication of underbrush, now the primary fuel for megafires.” These lines mean that previously US Forest Service had a policy to cut down (eradication) the underbrush regularly because it was the main reason (primary fuel) for forest fires. But now the service is at halt (stop). So, more
underbrush is growing more and more and it is acting as the fuel for megafires.
Answer: fuel

Question 5: Extended fire __________
Keywords: extended fire
In paragraph no. 4 the author mentions three other factors of megafires. Take a look at the second factor in lines 5-7, “. .. . Second is fire seasons that on average are 78 days longer than they were 20 years ago.”
Here, 78 days longer than they were 20 years ago = extended
Answer: seasons

Question 6: More building of __________ in vulnerable places
Keywords: more building, vulnerable places,
Now, in paragraph no. 4 the author mentions three other factors of megafires. Take a look at the third factor in lines 7-9, “Third is increased construction of homes in wooded areas.”
As we know, wood is vulnerable/ risky for catching fire, here wooded areas means vulnerable places.
Also, increased construction means more building.
Answer: homes



Questions 7-13: TRUE, FALSE, NOT GIVEN

** Tips (link details): How To Solve True, False, Not Given in IELTS Reading Module?

Question 7: The amount of open space in California has diminished over the last ten years.
Keywords: amount of open space, California, diminished, last ten years;
Now, in lines 1-7 of paragraph no. 6, “In California, where population growth has averaged more than 600,000 a year for at least a decade, more residential housing is being built. What once was open space is now residential homes providing fuels to make fires. .. . .”
The lines suggest that California has a big population growth (600,000 every ten years/decade) and more residential houses has been built. So, open spaces have been occupied by residential homes which mean the amount of open space has diminished (decreased).
Answer: TRUE

Question 8: Many experts believe California has made little progress in readying itself to fight fires.
Keywords: many experts, California, little progress, fight fires,
Now, in the beginning of paragraph 7, “That said, many experts give California high marks for making progress on preparedness in recent years, after some of the largest fires in state history scorched thousands of acres, burned thousands of homes, and killed numerous people.”
The lines suggest that experts believe that California should be given high marks or praised for the progress in preparedness in firefighting. So, the question contradicts with the information in the passage.
Here, the phrase ‘readying itself’ means ‘preparedness’.
Answer: FALSE

Question 9: Personnel in the past have been criticised for mishandling fire containment.
Keywords: personnel, criticised, mishandling, fire containment,
Now, in the final half part of paragraph 7, the author talks about the criticism, “Stung in the past by criticism of bungling that allowed fires to spread when they might have been contained, personnel are meeting the peculiar challenges of neighborhood – and canyon – hoping fires better than previously, observers say.”
Here, stung in the past by criticism = criticised, bungling = mishandling, they might have been contained = fire containment,
Answer: TRUE

Question 10: California has replaced a range of firefighting tools.
Keywords: replaced, firefighting tools,
Now, in paragraph 9, the writer starts by saying, “Besides providing money to upgrade the fire engines that must traverse the mammoth state and wind along serpentine canyon roads, the state has invested …. .” These lines suggest to the fact that the State of California has invested money to upgrade (replace) its firefighting engines or tools.
Answer: TRUE

Question 11: More firefighters have been hired to improve fire-fighting capacity.
Keywords: more firefighters, hired, improve, fire-fighting capacity,
Now, in this passage, we find the writer mentioning the upgrading of firefighting engines or tools, but there is no mention of whether more firefighters have been hired to improve fire-fighting capacity.

Question 12: Citizens and government groups disapprove of the efforts of different states and agencies working together.
Keywords: citizens and government groups, disapprove, states and agencies, working together,
Now, at the end of paragraph 9, where the writer states, “There is a sense among both government and residents that the speed, dedication, and coordination of firefighters from several states and jurisdictions are resulting in greater efficiency than in past ‘siege fire’ situations.”

The lines clearly suggest that both citizens (residents) and government groups approve or support the efforts of different states and agencies (jurisdictions) working together (coordination). So, the statement in the passage contradicts with the question.
Answer: FALSE

Question 13: Randy Jacobs believes that loss of life from fires will continue at the same levels, despite changes made.
Keywords: Randy Jacobs, loss of life, same levels,
Now, we find the comments of Randy Jacobs at the very end of the passage who says, “Notwithstanding all the damage that will continue to be caused by wildfires, we will no longer suffer the loss of life endured in the past because of the fire prevention and firefighting measures that have been put in place”.

This means as a result of the fire prevention and firefighting measures, citizens of California will no longer suffer the loss of life from fires like they did in the past. So, the statement clearly contradicts with the given question.
Answer: FALSE 


View Full Passage Here



Answer Key – The Megafires of California

Cambridge IELTS 10 Test 4 Answer Key, Reading Passage 1


The Megafires of California Reading Passage Answers Keys

Passage 1

1. spread

2. 10/ ten times

3. below

4. fuel

5. seasons

6. homes/ housing




10. TRUE







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