Forest Fires Threaten Parks
According to the USDA Forest Service, federal partners are continuing to work closely with first responders and firefighters from local, state, and tribal agencies to combat and monitor large wildfires throughout the West including those in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Approximately half of active federal wildfire-fighting resources are currently staged in Colorado. More than 760 federal, state and local firefighters and six helicopters are fighting the aggressive Waldo Canyon fire today in the hillsides west of Colorado Springs.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell stated, "Thousands of brave men and women on the front line are battling dry conditions, a lack of snowpack, excessive dead trees, hot weather and complex terrain to try to get this fire and others throughout the west under control."
The Waldo Canyon fire stretches in three directions across very dry forests. The fire has consumed more than 15,375 acres of forested land since Saturday, and has forced thousands of evacuations. With low humidity, winds as high as 65 mph and temperatures in the 90s forecast for the coming days, the situation remains challenging as firefighters work in what is described as very difficult terrain.
Federal land managers are also helping communities prepare for wildfire. Federal preparedness programs, such as Firewise and Ready Set Go! help families and communities prepare for and survive wildfire. You can also visit FEMA's Ready.gov, to learn more about steps you and your family can take now to be prepared for an emergency, whether it's fire, tornadoes, hurricanes, or other.
To view where forest fires are taking place, view this Forest Service map .