Despite Massive Wildfires, Total Acreage Low For June
The Whitewater-Baldy Fire is the largest wildfire in New Mexico state history. Photo by Andy Magee.
June 13, 2012

Nineteen large fires are burning in nine states, including the biggest fires ever in New Mexico and Colorado state history. But the number of acres burned is still below average for this time of year.

About a million acres have burned so far this year. Typically by this time of year about a million and a half acres have burned.

Jeremy Sullens is the wildfire analyst at the National Interagency Fire Center. Sullens said eastern Texas and the southeastern U.S. saw a fairly wet spring.

"When we look at portions of western Texas and even eastern New Mexico what we saw was that huge drought actually hindered the grass crop growth so there wasn’t the fuels to make those large fires occur that we would see in normal type fire seasons," Sullens said.

About 5,000 firefighters are currently battling fires across the country. And the Forest Service has added eight air tankers to its fleet for a total of 27, should they need them.