The West is burning at record pace

- Nearly 100 major wildfires continue to burn in the western U.S. as they continue their hot and dry year.  Precipitation has been dreadfully low for several years across California and for several months in the northwest triggering a wildfire season like we haven’t seen before.  So far, over 7.4 million acres have been scorched in the U.S. which makes it the largest number to this point in the year in over a decade.  The biggest of the blazes in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho are nearly contained, but new monsters will likely take their place as more than 4 dozen blazes are currently greater than 50 thousand acres.

As you would imagine, smoke from these fires is causing dangerous breathing conditions from Seattle to San Francisco, westward to Salt Lake City and Billings.  Check out the latest surface smoke analysis.  Some surface smoke can even be found in the Midwest as the front pushes through and shoves some of it eastward.

The hot and dry conditions likely won’t go away until the winter wet pattern sets up in November or December, hopefully fueled by El Nino, which would add extra moisture to the firehouse that hopefully douses the west. The current drought situation is mind blowing in California, but becoming a pretty big problem across at least half a dozen western states…


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