The National Climate Assessment: Climate Change Impacts in the United States concludes that warmer and drier conditions have already contributed to increasing wildfire events across the western United States, and future increases are projected in some regions. Already this year, there have been over 44,000 wildfires that have damaged or destroyed almost 8.5 million acres. Long periods of record high temperatures are associated with droughts that contribute to dry conditions and drive wildfires in some areas.
USDA Secretary Vilsack recently stated, “This year, we are experiencing yet another devastating wildfire season, particularly in the drought-ravaged West. Climate change, drought, fuel buildup, insects and disease are increasing the severity of unprecedented wildfire in America's forests and rangelands, which impacts the safety of people, homes and communities. Development close to forests has also increased the threat to property, with more than 46 million homes in the United States, or about 40 percent of our nation's housing, potentially at risk from wildfire.”
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