The West is Ablaze

 

2017 has been an extreme year for wildfires in the United States. It is heartbreaking seeing photos of animals, homes and some of our favorite outdoor locations burned.

As of September 6, 2017, acres burned by wildfires (Per NIFC):
United States: 7,925,998 acres
Canada: 7,822,308 acres

Fires are a natural part of the west, but what is not natural is human caused fires and extreme heat from climate change. This is causing more fires than average and with higher intensity.

Lets take a look at some videos and photos to show you how extreme this situation is:

The Eagle Creek fire is located in the treasured Columbia River Gorge has burned much of the most beloved wilderness in the US.

And then there are those located close to large populations like the one outside of Los Angeles.

Fires in Glacier National Park, one of MANY fires in Montana.

It's surreal to see a scene like this. #bcfires

A post shared by N I K K I B U T Z (@nikkibutz) on

I have no idea why this isn't being reported in the national news. Montana is in flames. My dad, a member of the top fire management team, has barely been home all summer long. . Glacier National Park has closed part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and is evacuating Lake McDonald. A century old chalet was already destroyed in another area of the park. . For a time on Saturday, not a single air quality monitor in the entire state of Montana registered Good air. NOT ONE. . Thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes, and more than a few homes have been destroyed. . As of Sept. 1st, 4,000 firefighters, 125 aircraft and 350 Montana National Guard troops have been battling the fires all summer. Two firefighters have died. . Half a million acres of Montana have been lost, and there are still 43 active fires. . Please pray for Montana and the people risking their lives to stop the destruction. . . . #montana #wildfire #firefighter #usfs #forestservice #glaciernationalpark #fire #forestfire #prayer #bigsky #firemanagement #onlyyoucanpreventforestfires 📷: NBC Montana

A post shared by Kelsey Speer (@speerface) on

Fires in Idaho

Wildfires are not all bad. They are beneficial to the long-term health of forests and they are a natural part of the cycle in most ecosystems. Wildfires clear out dead vegetation, stimulate new growth and improve habitat for wildlife. Over the years, with the use of fire suppression, fire has been removed from the cycle and ecosystems began to get out of balance. When fire doesn't occur, fuels build up to unnatural levels and can increase the risk of catastrophic mega fires. It's devastating and heartbreaking to see fires like Eagle Creek in Oregon start from such recklessness and ignorance. However, we need to change the way we manage our forests and public lands. We need to start having more prescribed fires. The right fire at the right time in the right place will be incredibly effective and we will have healthier forests. Mega fires such as the ones in Montana, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho should never happen- we just have to start doing out part to stop it. I'm thankful for those out there fighting our wildfires and I'm praying for rain. #notallfireisbad #forestservice #wildlandfire #publiclands #prayforrain #workfornature #educateyourself

A post shared by Mia Goodwin (@miagoodwin13) on

There are also fires in Washington, California and Utah.

 

We are thankful for all the firefighters risking their lives to save our wild.