In the US, more than 600,000 acres have already been burned as a result of wildfires this year. That is almost double compared to this time last year. Drought is a major driver, as much of the west is currently experiencing the most severe drought, which the US Drought Monitor calls “exceptional drought.”
2020 was a devastating year for wildfires in the United States: 10.1 million acres burned. California was hit particularly hard, losing more than 4.2 million acres to wildfires, setting state records. This year’s wildfire season will again break records, according to forecasts from AccuWeather meteorologists.
But drought is only part of the problem. Strong winds, high heat, low humidity, and lightning also create conditions in which forest fires can more easily start or spread. Others, like last year, accidentally started. All of these factors, including controlling wildfires once they start, are exacerbated by .
The wildfire season has no official start date. It starts with the first wildfire of the year and ends with the last. Historically, wildfires are most likely to occur between May and October. Lately, that paradigm has shifted – wildfires raged well into the end of 2020, burning a record 735,125 acres in December.
Predictions for this year’s wildfire season are worrying, and we’ll update this page regularly with resources on how to protect yourself, your family, and your home if you live in a fire-prone area. Our first story?
There’s a lot more to help you plan and prepare for emergencies, so be on the lookout for new stories here. In the meantime, keep an eye on InciWeb for current information on forest fires in the US.