Tallying the aftermath of the West Coast wildfires

We are getting more perspective on just how dangerous the record setting wildfire season has been in the west.

USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says that more than 9.5 million acres of vegetation has burned. That is about 600,000 acres below the all-time record.

He says that it has been common to pass the 10 million acres threshold in the last 70 years or so.

He explains why it is so dangerous now: “That was a different time when there wasn’t as much of an urban forest interface. Wildfires tend to just burn more naturally and flame out over time. With so many more people in the country now and people wanting to live up in the hills, that has created a situation where it’s much more urgent to put out these fires.”

Rippey says that acreage totals may be lower, but the fires are more dangerous. In California alone, the fires have caused a billion dollars in damage to agriculture.