Fire season in West expected to get more intense

July 23, 2014

(AP)—Despite widespread drought in the West, wildfires have burned less than half the 10-year average area so far this summer.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said Wednesday that largely has been a matter of luck, with the hot, windy weather known as "red flag" days not lining up with the lighting strikes that start fires, particularly in California.

But he says that is changing. Eighteen large fires are burning in the Northwest with intensities not normally seen until August.

Firefighters on Wednesday were chasing 25 new fires ignited by thunderstorms moving across Northern California, Oregon and Washington.

Meanwhile, the Union of Concerned Scientists released a report warning is contributing to bigger and longer seasons, and new homes in forests are driving up firefighting costs.

Explore further: NASA images: Oregon burning

Related Stories

NASA images: Oregon burning

August 7, 2013

On July 26, 2013, thunderstorms passed over southern Oregon, and lightning ignited dozens of difficult-to-control wildfires. Persistently dry weather since the beginning of 2013 had primed forests to burn, and nearly all ...

NASA image: Fires continue in San Diego County, California

May 16, 2014

Seven fires are still burning in San Diego County, California. Arson is suspected as the origin of these fires. Two teens have been arrested on suspicion of setting the fire that spread so ferociously across the county. All ...

Dozens of fires plague Oregon

July 16, 2014

Fires are a way of life during the hot, dry summer days, but that does not mean they are ever taken for granted. Thousands of lightning strikes Sunday (7/13) and early Monday (7/14) probably started most of the wildfires, ...

NASA image: Fires and Smoke in Canada's Northern Territories

July 21, 2014

Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires. Currently 160 wildfires are burning across the region. There are no plans ...

Recommended for you

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.