How Might a Scientist Investigate Annual Patterns of Fires?
ES0201  Wildfire!
Bureau of Land Management, Fire & Aviation Library
Montana firefighters expect 'wild day'

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Montana (CNN) — Firefighters battling a 48,000-acre wildfire in this northwestern section of Montana say they expect to be coping with high winds and no precipitation, which are predicted for the region Monday.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, three new large fires were reported in the West, and three were contained. A total of 17 large fires were burning Monday in eight states — California, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.

CNN, September 3, 2001

Each year, the United States is faced with an alarming number of wildfires in forests and grasslands across the country. In the year 2000 alone, over 120,000 wildfires were reported. The government spent $1.3 billion paying more than 30,000 people to fight the fires that burned over eight million acres of land.

Federal agencies responsible for suppressing wildfires have a daunting challenge: they need to know which areas are at the highest risk of experiencing wildfires so they can have firefighters and equipment ready to be deployed. The agencies gather a wide variety of information to help them predict the daily potential for wildfires.

1. Brainstorm with a couple of other students: Make a list of the kinds of information you would want to gather to help you predict where wildfires might break out.

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