Last year was, as we’ve mentioned before on this site, the third-worst year on record for wildfires in terms of acres burned. Unfortunately, 2013 has been brutal as well, with drought throughout the country making the problem worse, especially in the western US.
Late last week, the National Weather Service issued warnings for Idaho, where nine fires are already burning, that high winds and low humidity could spread the existing blazes and provide ideal conditions for new ones. Warnings are also in effect for several other states, and 34 large fires are currently burning in 11 states.
The September/October issue of Erosion Control includes an article on dealing with erosion and flood hazards once the fires are out. It includes information on the US Forest Service’s plans for the coming decades; the agency expects to see an increase in housing and other infrastructure on currently undeveloped private forest land.