Despite record-breaking rain and snowfall across the West in 2017, this year’s fire season has been unforgiving.
Billows of thick black smoke and red-hot flames have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres in Montana, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Utah.
More than 24,000 firefighters have been battling 137 blazes, some for as long as six months, leaving experts shocked at the scale and duration.
“Typically by the third week of September we see not as much fire activity,” said Jessica Gardetto, spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center. “But we just haven’t had that relief.”
The blazes have been responsible for the deaths of eight...