“The American West is primed for a summer of fire,” warns Popular Science. The magazine reported in May that more than 1.2 million acres of the U.S. burned from wildfires so far this year – roughly 500,000 acres more than the 10-year average.
Needless to say, that’s cause for concern heading into a dry, hot summer. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) released its predictions of fire weather through August, which shows above normal fire potential in great swaths of the West.
“Whether you actually realize that potential is dependent on actual weather events,” said Jim Wallmann, a meteorologist at the NIFC. He noted that windy days, lightning and rain are all factors that shape the actual season.