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Western Wildfire Roundup

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  • #16
    Acreage burned by wildfires sets 45-year high; hot, dry weather is
    blamed


    By CHRISTOPHER SMITH
    Associated Press Writer
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Wildfires across the country have scorched
    more land in 2006 than in any year since at least 1960, burning an
    area twice the size of New Jersey.
    But the flames have mainly raced across sparsely populated
    desert, causing fewer firefighter deaths than in previous years.
    As of Wednesday, blazes had torched 8.69 million acres, or
    13,584 square miles, just above last year's total of 13,573 square
    miles, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.
    Reliable records were not kept before 1960, officials said. The
    annual average over the past 10 years is 4.9 million acres.
    Federal officials attributed the increase to two consecutive
    seasons of hot and dry weather that left forest and ranges parched
    and easily ignited by lightning.
    Fifteen federal, state and local firefighters have died this
    year battling wildland fires, the center reported. The worst single
    accident this year was a helicopter crash Aug. 13 in Idaho that
    killed three firefighters and the pilot.
    From 1995 to 2004, the average number of firefighter deaths was
    18, with 30 killed in 2003, according to the NIFC.
    Rose Davis of the NIFC said the 2006 acreage was skewed by
    unusually large early season range fires in Texas and Oklahoma -
    blazes that burned mainly sparsely populated areas and did not lead
    to large numbers of deaths or heavy damage to homes.
    The Interior Department and the U.S. Forest Service have spent
    about $1.25 billion fighting the fires since the fiscal 2006 year
    began last Oct. 1.
    The wildfire season may almost be over. Cooler weather and
    upper-elevation snow are expected in the Northwest.
    ---
    On the Net:
    Wildland Fire Statistics: http://www.nifc.gov/stats/index.html
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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    • #17
      October 3rd

      By REBECCA BOONE
      Associated Press Writer
      BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Wildfires across the United States have
      burned a record number of acres (hectares) this year, and with the
      scorched land comes a record bill, a federal official said.
      The U.S. Forest Service's firefighting efforts for fiscal year
      2006, which ended Sept. 30, cost more than $1.5 billion (euro1.2
      billion), at least $100 million (euro78.5 million) over budget,
      said Mark Rey, the Agriculture Department undersecretary for
      natural resources and the environment.
      To pay for the fires, money was transferred from other programs
      that had surpluses, including a reforestation program, said Kent
      Connaughton, the Forest Service comptroller.
      The wildfire season is not over yet, but so far more than 15,515
      square miles (39,700 square kilometers), or 9.93 million acres
      (3.97 million hectares), have burned in the continental United
      States, Rey said. That is the most since at least 1960, when the
      Boise-based National Interagency Fire Center began keeping reliable
      records.
      The previous record was in 2005, when more than 8.6 million
      acres (3.4 million hectares) burned. The average of the past 10
      years has been 4.9 million acres (2 million hectares).
      The 2006 tab compares with $690 million (euro541.7 million)
      spent in 2005 and $726 million (euro570 million) in 2004, Forest
      Service spokesman Dan Jiron said.

      (Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment

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