Scorching heat and endless drought that plagued most of the country in 2012 has helped trigger one of the worst wildfire seasons. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), for only the third time on record, the total number of acres burned from wildfires nationwide has topped 9 million in a year (2006 saw 9.8 million acres burned; 2007 saw 9.3 acres burned). The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) at NOAA reports that some of the worst of these fires were in Colorado.
Other stats to consider:
- 9.1 million acres burned thus far in 2012
- This year’s losses are generally in line with the 10-year average (2002 – 2011) of $1.2 billion
- Wildfires have killed 13 firefighters and civilians thus far this year
- August was the worst month nationally, when more than 3.6 million acres burned, the highest single-month losses since 2000
Read Doyle Rice's article, U.S. Endures Near-Record Wildfire Season, that delves deeper into these stats and more.
And check out NFPA’s website where we provide a number of studies, reports and statistics on fires and fire safety you can download and share with others. NFPA's recent report on 2011 large-loss fires, includes lots of interesting information regarding the costliest fires in the U.S., including the Bastrop County wildfire in Texas, which tops the list of most expensive large-loss fires in 2011.