Written on . Posted in Forest Service

Western wildfires in 2015 blaze toward record levels

2015 California WildfireWildfires have burned 5.5 million acres across the West so far in 2015, an area equal in size to New Jersey. These numbers put the current fire season on track to reach or surpass record levels.

Most of the acres burned — a whopping 4.7 million acres, or 85% of the total — have been in Alaska, where 300 fires are currently burning. While not all are violent and fast-moving, Alaska's wildfires have done significant damage in what could be the worst wildfire season in state history.

 

The ongoing drought, coupled with summertime heat, has exacerbated the fire season in the West. Major wildfires in the region include:

 

See the Western Governors' outreach on wildfire policy issues, including rangeland fire risk and the so-called "fire-borrowing" funding practice.