“Wildfire Season” Expanding

Written by on June 12, 2019

The U.S. Forest Service is working to minimize the outbreak of catastrophic wildfires – but officials recognize that instead of having a “wildfire season,” wildfires now happen at any time of the year.

Billions of acres of land are susceptible to catastrophic wildfire, according to U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen. She says as blazes become more frequent and ongoing, the idea of a clearly defined season for wildfire is ending.

With 44 million homes now in the wildland-urban interface—about one home in three—the risk from wildfire is greater than ever before. Last year, the Camp Fire in California destroyed almost 14,000 residences and took 88 lives.

The Forest Service is prioritizing treatment and mitigation, mostly in western states, by thinning trees, clearing fuel materials and using prescribed burns on 80 million acres. In Utah, the Forest Service unveiled the state’s largest logging project in years to clear out beetle-ravaged trees.

As fire season progresses, area conditions including dry vegetation and terrain can indicate wildfire danger. Officials urge residents to pay attention to fire danger warnings posted by the BLM and other agencies.

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