2011-06-11 04:13:21Monster wildfire in Arizona: A glimpse of what climate change could bring -- Chrsitian Science Monitor
John Hartz
John Hartz
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Monster wildfire in Arizona: A glimpse of what climate change could bring

Even as the Wallow fire threatens to alter the Arizona landscape for a long time to come, some scientists say climate change may be fueling a trend toward larger wildfires in the American West.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, June 9, 2011

Key excerpts:

Fire statistics gathered at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, give a rough glimpse of the trend toward more scorched earth in the US.

From 1960, when the center's tally begins, through 2010, wildfires throughout the US burned an average of 4.2 million acres a year. Between 2000 and 2010, however, the average rose to 6.6 million acres a year. Six of the last 11 years saw from 7 million to nearly 10 million acres burned. Between 1960 and 2000, only two years reached the 6-million-acre mark.

So far this calendar year, wildfires in the US have burned 3.1 million acres, according to the NIFC