More wildfires have been reported in recent weeks than any other year
The U.S. Forest Service plans to significantly increase the number of firefighters. They try to hire 10,000 firefighters annually, but in the recent past, they have had trouble recruiting.
In a hearing on Capitol Hill this week, the service said that it is turning the problem around. After a recruiting event last month in California, they believe they can hire more than 13,000 this year.
The wildfire season is underway with more fires reported in recent weeks than any other year.
The lower southeast has adequate soil moisture to protect against large fires, but drought-affected areas in the Great Plains are ripe for wildfire activity.
“We’ve seen examples of that happening throughout March and early April from Colorado to Texas, and particularly we’ve seen fast-moving flash-type fires,” USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey states. “They burn dozens to hundreds of acres in a matter of hours with howling winds pushing the flames far ahead of their initial starting point.”
The Forest Service fire map shows that seventeen wildfires are burning right now that are concerned “large incidents.” They stretch all the way from Arizona to Kentucky.