Ground Truth: Fire Truth

Fire Season Returns To “Old” Normal

The latest statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center show that 2019 has seen a decrease in the total amount of wildfire activity across the United States compared to the past decade.

As of yesterday, there have been 40,263 wildfires across the nation, according to the government’s statistics. That compares to a 10-year average of 51,100. About 4.4 million acres have burned so far, compared to an annual average of about 6.2 million acres over the past decade. Alaska has had the most active fire season. More than 2.5 million acres have burned there in 2019, mainly in areas overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. Just under 550,000 acres have burned on Forest Service lands so far this year, according to the NIFC. As of yesterday, the agency is monitoring five fires encompassing 291 acres.

Forest Service spokesperson Chamise Kramer told a southern Oregon news outlet that this year has been relatively calm in that region, as it has been in most other parts of the nation.

“This year is definitely more representative of what we think of when we think of normal fire season,” Kramer said.