August 2015 sets new record for area burned by wildfire | NOAA

Last month, our “Climate Challenge” online game pitted experts against players to answer the following question: What will be the total area burned due to wildfires in the United States in August 2015?

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires charred 4.04 million acres throughout the month, the most since reliable record-keeping began in 2000. The satellite image at right shows smoke from fires burning in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana on August 19, 2015. One of the month’s most significant fires was the source of the smoke drifting eastward from north-central Washington. Burning more than 300,000 acres and destroying 176 homes, the Okanogan Complex Fire evolved into the largest fire on record for the state.

The graph shows the total number of acres burned in 2015 (red) relative to the 2000–2010 average (yellow). The total number of acres burned in August 2015 exceeded the overall average by more 2 million acres. While the overall number of fires (6,522 fires) was well below-average, ranking as the second-least amount of total fires since 2000, they were devastatingly destructive. Experts estimated each fire burned a record-breaking 619 acres.

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See on Scoop.itGarryRogers NatCon News


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