More than 600,000 acres have already burned down in the US this year due to wildfires. That is almost double compared to last year at this time. Drought is a major driver as large regions of the West are currently experiencing the most severe drought, dubbed “exceptional drought”
2020 was a devastating year for wildfires in the US: 10.1 million acres burned. California was particularly hard hit, losing more than 4.2 million acres to wildfires and setting state records. This year’s wildfire season is set to break records again, according to predictions from AccuWeather meteorologists.
But drought is only part of the problem. Strong winds, high heat, low humidity and lightning also make wildfires easier to start or spread. Others, like last year’sstarted accidentally. All of these factors, including managing wildfires once they have started, 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 between May and October. Lately, that paradigm has shifted — wildfires raged well into the fall of 2020, burning a record 735,125 acres in December.
The forecasts for this year’s wildfire season are alarming and we will be updating this page regularly with information on how to protect yourself, your family and your home if you live in a fire-prone area. Our first few stories:
There’s plenty more to come to help you plan and prepare for emergencies, so keep an eye out for new stories here. In the meantime, keep an eye on InciWeb for current information on wildfires in the US.