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Home / US / After warm and dry winters, western states prepare for “very active wildfire season”

After warm and dry winters, western states prepare for “very active wildfire season”



The western part of the country is preparing for the hot, dry and potentially dangerous wildfire season, and several states seem to have begun.

The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings Friday on many of the Great Plains, including North Dakota, where a fire broke out on Thursday, threatening homes and forcing people to evacuate.

The red flag warns that severe fire weather conditions are now or about to occur. The National Weather Service stated on its website: “Strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures combine to cause extreme fire behavior.”

According to data from the United States Drought Monitoring Agency, the arid regions of all 1

1 western states are currently in severe or extreme drought, including North Dakota and South Dakota, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. And Arizona.

Mary Erickson, Deputy Director of the Southwestern United States, said: “The Southwestern United States has suffered a severe drought and will remain the worst-hit area in the United States. This spring, in these drought-affected areas, water supply Will continue to be a concern of people.” The National Weather Service said in a statement.

The continuous hot and dry weather has made people more worried that this year’s fire season may be similar to or worse than previous fire seasons.

“We are preparing for the year of the fire,” said Stanton Florea, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center.

Due to increasingly dry vegetation, the National Inter-Agency Fire Center recorded an increase in firefighting activity throughout the United States in March, especially in the Southwest and Rocky Mountains. Throughout April to early May, it is expected that fires above normal levels will continue to occur throughout the northern plains.

Floria said: “The situation may change, but we do hope that there will be another very active wildfire season in the West.” “At this point, it is the dry conditions and dry vegetation that drive this.”

As of Friday, nearly 1,800 firefighters have been mobilized to fight at least 19 different types of fires in the Upper Plains, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes and the Southwest. This does not include firefighters who burned under prescribed or controlled burns.

He said: “At this time of year, this is a pretty big number.”

The national disaster preparedness level, which is determined by fuel and weather conditions, rose from 1 to 2 this week, allowing firefighting agencies to free up more resources to prepare for more fire activities. Floria said that the level of preparedness last year did not increase until June.

Across the country, as temperatures rise and droughts intensify, record-breaking wildfires are becoming more common, making brushes dry, overgrown, and flammable.

On Thursday, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum declared a fire emergency across the state due to a drought that caused a fire near the tourist town of Medora, where at least 100 residents were evacuated .

Burgum said at a press conference on Friday that there were no reports of community injuries or structural damage near Theodore Roosevelt National Park, but according to the North Dakota Forest Service, the fire is expected for most of the day. Continue within. . Red flag warnings were also issued most of the time throughout the state.

According to the Associated Press, there have been more and more wildfires in North Dakota, accompanied by extreme droughts. The North Dakota Forest Service has tracked more than 140 wildfires, which burned 46 square miles.

In neighboring South Dakota, a wildfire threatened communities in Pennington County and forced the evacuation of more than 400 homes early this week.

The fire threat has increased after the historic wildfire season in 2020, which burned millions of acres in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and other areas. According to the analysis of the Los Angeles Times, in the past ten years, California has had the 10 largest fires eight times, destroying communities and drawing tens of millions of dollars from the state’s budget.

Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom (Gavin Newsom) approved more than $80 million in emergency funding to hire more than 1,400 firefighters with the California Forestry and Fire Department (Cal Fire) to strengthen fuel management And wildfire response work. According to the Government House, Newsom’s 2021 budget proposes to allocate US$1 billion to support wildfire and forest management.

“The fire season can happen at any time,” said Carrie Bilbao, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Land Management, who also works with the National Interagency Fire Center. “We just don’t really have those wet seasons anymore.”

Bilbao said that the good news is that Alaska (usually one of the first states to experience wildfires each year) will not see growth in 2021.

She said: “Alaska usually burns first, then the southwestern and eastern regions of Texas and Florida,” she added, adding that firefighting experts “have not panicked yet.”

She said: “This is just one of those things you never know.” “Especially in the case of dry fuel and wind, you certainly increase the risk of fire. You are just preparing for the worst.”


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