WPR News
10:40 am
Fri December 5, 2003

Drought, Heat Led To Severe Wildfire Season

Boise, ID – Fire officials say record temperatures and drought drove the destructive wildfires that raged through the west this summer. And even if western states get above-average precipitation this winter, next year's fire danger won't be lessened. National Interagency Fire Center officials Rick Ochoa says it'll take years to reverse the situation of fire danger. This year, a rainy spring delayed the season until late May. But a high-pressure weather system settled over the west, opening a fire season that charred nearly four million acres nationwide. Officials say they'll examine California to gauge the dryness in other western states.