California and the West Are in for Another Tough Fire Year, Federal Officials Forecast

After a 2020 fire season that shattered records and killed 33 people in California, federal wildfire experts predict another tough one for the state due to widespread and worsening drought conditions.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters Thursday that they had been briefed by government wildfire experts at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, to expect another extremely active fire season complicated, for the second year, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With nearly half of the United States gripped by a severe drought, officials said that Americans living throughout much of the West should plan for a year of “above average wildfire potential.”