More than 8 million acres of land have burned in the U.S. so far this year, making it one of the worst years in decades for wildfires. And summer isn’t even over yet.
Fires have raged in Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, and other Western states, and firefighters are putting their lives on the line every day to contain them.
This is not business as usual. Wildfires are bigger, more frequent, and last longer. Drought and high temperatures make them worse.
Firefighters are being caught off guard. Across the front range of Colorado, for example, drought-stressed trees and reduced spring moisture make a highly combustible combination.
“On a day to day basis, we are being surprised,” says one of the heroes in Unacceptable Risk, a stunning video about wildfires. “And in this business, surprises kill people.”
Where once there was a fire season, now fires come at any time of year. The Forest Service is stretched thin trying to respond. Firefighters are frightened. Homes are destroyed.
Watch this video to learn more about what wildfires in Colorado signal about our future in a climate-altered world.
View the full video here.