The 2018 Wildfire Season Is On Track To Be As Bad As Last Year’s, US Forest Chief Says

Tim Pearce – June 7, 2018

Wildfires this year are burning acreage at a rate on par with last year’s historic fire season, during which the federal government spent a record $2.9 billion on fire suppression, according to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) interim chief Victoria Christiansen.

Christiansen sat before the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, a part of the Committee on Natural Resources, Thursday afternoon. The hearing focused on the priorities of the USFS in the upcoming year and how recent changes to the structure of firefighting funding would affect forest management.

“Early predictions indicate that 2018 will likely be another challenging wildfire year,” Christiansen said in her testimony. “To date, about 1.7 million acres have burned, mostly in the South, Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions; this number is on trend with the number of acres burned last year at this time.”