A New York State firefighting crew is returning home after battling a 37,000+ acre wildfire in Northern California for the last two weeks. The 20-member crew, made up of state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers, employees and volunteers, assisted in the containment of the Mad River Complex wildfires.
In late July, lightning ignited the Mad River Complex fires in California’s Six Rivers National Forest, 360 miles north of San Francisco. Local news reports said the fires -which consumed over 37,000 acres- had been fully contained by the end of last week.
New York State sent another crew of firefighters to southern Oregon in late August to assist in fighting the 25,000 acre Stouts Creek wildfire.
As of September 2nd, more than 8 million acres have burned in U.S. wildfires in 2015, reports the Washington Post. The volume of acres burned this year is on track to be the worst in the nation’s recorded history. It is important to note, however, that 5 million acres burned in Alaska alone this year.
California Governor Jerry Brown has drawn a direct line between the state’s 4-year drought, which has exacerbated wildfires there, and climate change.
Firefighters in six Western states – California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Utah – were contending with a total of 35 large wildfires on Wednesday, September 9th, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Idaho.