There are currently 88 wildfires burning across the country in 14 states. Almost 200,000 acres are currently ablaze, an area roughly equivalent to all five boroughs of New York City, combined.
In California, Yosemite National Park has been evacuated for fear of the nearby 41,576 acre Ferguson fire, which is only slightly more than one-quarter contained. There are currently over 10 active fires, each, in Alaska, Idaho, and Oregon. In southern Colorado, the Spring Creek fire covers over 100,000 acres. That fire, while largely contained, is close to becoming the second largest in state history.
The current series of dangerous fires across the western United States represents more of the same for residents there. Due to prolonged dry conditions caused — according to experts — by climate change as well as accumulation of dead timber, attempts to contain fires in the 21st century have been more often than not been a losing battle, even as firefighting tactics and technology continues to improve. Since the turn of the century, there have been 10 years in which at least 7 million acres burned. This has only happened in one year between 1956 and 1999.
2017 was the worst year for fires in more than 60 years, second only to 2015. With conditions predicted to be worse across much of the country over the next several months, and 4.2 million acres already burned this year, 2018 is shaping up to be another bad year.
To identify the 14 states with active wildfires, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the latest data on current active wildfire released by the National Interagency Fire Center. Annual acres burned due to wildfires also come from the NIFC.