Print Western wildfires rising, worsening
Written by Jeff Bear   
Monday, 24 June 2013 12:59

Wildfire is increasingly becoming a matter of grave concern in national forests, especially in the West. The nation has experienced some of the worst wildfire seasons on record over the last decade, and the conditions that led to several of the most catastrophic fires are still prevalent this year.

Several brush fires, believed to be caused by a vehicle, erupted around 9:30 a.m. on both sides of State Route 260 and milepost 214 on June 12, in Camp Verde. The fires were quickly extinguished, but consumed approximately one-quarter of an acre. A driver passing by used a fire extinguisher and put out one of the small spot fires. The road was closed for safety precautions, stopping traffic in both directions for approximately 30 minutes.In addition to generally warmer, dryer weather, large portions of forest lands in the West have been invaded by bark beetles, leaving them tinderbox vulnerable to sweeping wildfires.

Tom Tidwell, the chief of the U.S. Forest Service, gave a statement before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on June 4 about the challenges the Forest Service is facing in the wake of rapidly changing climates.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, June 19, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.