USA — Several large new fires burning California, Idaho and Minnesota have pushed the total acreage during this years wildfire season to 7.7 million acres nationwide, about 1.5 million acres above the 10-year average and close to the record season of 2006, when 8.8 million acres had burned by this time of year.
By comparison, last years total at this point in the fire season was 2.7 million acres; in 2009, it was 5.5 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Currently, large fires are burning in eight states: California (3), Idaho (11), Minnesota (1), Montana (8), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (6), Texas (11) and Washington (2). Visit Inciweb for updates on all fires burning currently.
The biggest single fire in the country is burning on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, where the Pagami Creek Fire has burned across a footprint of about 94,000 acres since it started about a month ago. The fire was started by lightning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, about 14 miles east of Ely. Its about 11 percent contained with 565 firefighters on scene.
Parts of the Boundary Waters area remains closed and officials are focusing on protecting structures and developing evacuation procedures on the fires southeastern boundary.