US wildfires burn 9.3 million acres, topping year-to-date record

By REUTERS
October 17, 2015 05:15

 
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More than 9.3 million acres have gone up in smoke in wildfires across the United States so far in 2015, marking the highest tally of burned landscape on record at this point in any year, according to figures released on Friday by federal fire managers.

After a summer that saw some of the most devastating blazes in memory, 2015 has already entered the record books as one of just four years in which the total US wildfire footprint has topped 9 million acres - roughly equivalent to the land mass of Vermont and Connecticut combined.

The three other years were 2006, 2007 and 2012. Last year was relatively quiet by comparison, with just under 3.6 million acres of timber, brush and grasslands left blackened at the end of 2014.

The overwhelming bulk of this year's destruction occurred in several Western states, well over half of it in Alaska alone. California, the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies were also especially hard hit.

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