How many wildfires are burning right now in the U.S. and how can they be prevented?
We have an update on the ongoing wildfires across the U.S.
The National Interagency Fire Center reports five new large fires this week. Three in Alaska, one in Florida, and one in North Carolina. So far this year, 31,000 wildfires have burned more than three million acres, most of which are farmland. That's well above the ten-year average of 24,000 fires and two million acres.
The Center is encouraging everyone to prepare for these fires as the weather continues to get warmer.
The U.S. Forest Service Chief says we are nearing the most intense portion of the season and it is already been extremely tough. Randy Moore says they are constantly improving and changing technologies to help better protect the U.S. from future wildfires.
"We're working to dramatically increase the fuels and forest health treatments up to four times the current treatment levels in the west. We will focus on those areas where the wildfire risks to homes and communities is highest," says Moore.
Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland, announced an additional $103 million to reduce risk and repair burned areas. She also established the Firefighter Health and Well Being Program.