Wildfires in the West
2006 was one of the worst years for wildfires on record in the United States. Across the country, more than 10 million acres of wildfires burned throughout the year. In the West alone, over seven million acres burned in total, which is equivalent to all the land in five of the country's biggest national parks: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Olympic and Death Valley National Parks.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there were more then 96,000 wildland fires in 2006, and over a million more acres burned in 2006 than in any other year this decade. The drought conditions across most of the western U.S., reported by the National Climatic Data Center, were severe, and this led to much higher fire risk than usual for many states.
The locations of these 2006 fires come from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity project, a collaboration between the United States Forest Service and the United States Geological Survey.