Wildland fires are a serious threat to lives and property in the U.S. The combination of drought, warmer temperatures, high winds and an excess of dried vegetation in forests and grasslands has made fire seasons progressively worse over the past 50 years. And, in the last decade, wildfires have burned over 80 million acres of these lands. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), 2015 saw one of the worst fire seasons in decades, with over 10 million acres burned.
Dr. Jack Cohen, Fire Science Researcher with the USDA Forest Service, explains current research about how homes ignite during wildfires.
Facts and figures
- According to the NIFC, 2015 saw more than 68,000 wildfires burn over 10 million acres.
- The U.S. Forest Service reports that 2015 was also the most expensive wildfire season on record, costing $1.71 billion for the year. This total surpasses the previous record of $1.67 billion set in 2002.
- A total of 4,636 structures were destroyed by wildfires in 2015, including more than 2,600 homes and more than 100 commercial buildings
- The National Association of State Foresters (NASF) cites more than 72,000 U.S. communities are at risk from wildfires.
The Firewise Communities Program encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes for the risk of wildfire. Firewise is sponsored by the NFPA and the USDA Forest Service.
Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) is a collaborative approach coordinated by NFPA and the USDA Forest Service that provides comprehensive resources to all those who play a role in wildfire education, planning and action.
News from our Fire Break blog