The West’s Wildfire Surge: It’s Nasty, It Could Set a Record. But Should We Cool the Rhetoric a Little?

As of today (Aug. 19), 78 large fires were burning across 1,260,830 acres in ten states, most of them in the western United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

You can see smoke plumes from many of these blazes in the satellite image above.

The region has seen a dramatic wildfire surge in recent weeks, with 16 new large blazes reported on Monday, Aug. 17 alone (and four new ones today), most of them in Idaho and Montana. Some 30,000 firefighters are battli

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