Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Common Dreams
Hotter Planet Creating ‘Extraordinary’ Wild Fires says Head of US Forest Service
Climate change is “largest issue we face” Senate panel told
– Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Climate change is worsening wildfires, lengthening the wildfire season and increasing their size, the head of the nation’s forest service warned Congress on Tuesday.
In testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, U.S. Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell said:
Around the world, the last two decades have seen fires that are extraordinary in their size, intensity and impacts. In Australia in 2009, the Black Saturday Bushfires killed 170 people. Domestically, Florida, Georgia, Utah, California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, have all experienced the largest and/or the most destructive fires in their history just in the last six years. On average wildfires burn twice as many acres each year as compared to 40 years ago, and there are on average seven times as many fires over 10,000 acres per year.
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