are now blazing across seven western states, the National Interagency
Fire Center reports from its Boise, Idaho headquarters. Firefighters
contained four large fires Tuesday, while three new ones were
states are reporting very high to extreme fire conditions, which
could increase due to a warming trend over the next several days.
More than 100 new smaller fires were reported Wednesday, most
of which were contained by initial attack efforts.
In this mid-summer
national wildlands fire report, the federal agency responsible
for firefighting says 1,547,312 acres have been burned so far
this year. The area burned is below the 10 year average, and half
the area burned at this time last year, a severe fire season.
The fire situation
could get much worse, warns Barry Hill, director of the Natural
Resources and Environment division of the General Accounting Office.
Testifying before the House Forest and Forest Health Subcommittee
Tuesday, Hill said there are problems with the Forest Service
and Interior Department's implementation of the National Fire