Dec 9, 2015

We may be witnessing the worst wildfire season in recorded history

Alaska
California
Washington
Oregon
Idaho
USA
by
Darryl Fears
,
Washington Post
A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August. Authorities urged people in the town to evacuate because of the fast-moving blaze. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August. Authorities urged people in the town to evacuate because of the fast-moving blaze. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

The nation is closing in on its worst wildfire season in recorded history, with nearly 9.8 million acres already burned — the equivalent of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and part of New Hampshire going up in flames. Two large fires and more than 160 smaller ones remain active, and more fires are expected to be reported before the month ends. Together, they’re likely to push the 2015 total past the record 9.87 million acres burned in 2006. The extent of scorched earth reflects a warming trend that has made the United States considerably drier, scientists and fire expects say, with less mountain snowpack particularly in Alaska and the southwest.