How global warming and a wet winter may impact the U.S. wildfire season

By Evan Bush
NBC News
May 24, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfire season in most parts of the western United States could be delayed this summer with heavy snow still covering many mountain ranges, national fire forecasters say. Still, the risk of damaging wildfires continues to trend upward as the climate warms, one factor making it more difficult to predict how the season will shake out. Forecasters and fire ecology experts said changes to fire behavior make it challenging to predict conditions in the late summer and the early fall. Fire seasons are growing longer. Hotter temperatures zap fuels of their moisture faster. And more people are living near the wilderness — and potentially, in harm’s way. …The National Interagency Fire Center is predicting above-normal fire activity in parts of the Pacific Northwest, including eastern Oregon and central Washington, in July and August. Elsewhere in the West, forecasters are predicting normal or below-normal fire activity for those months.

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