(MSN) – The fire season now runs almost year-round, and 2018 is already worse than usual.
Wildfires have almost become a year-round threat in some parts of the western United States. From Colorado to California, it feels like the blazes from last year never went out.
Flames ignited forests and chaparral virtually nonstop in 2017, with fires burning more than 54,000 acres in January alone and the year ending with record infernos in Southern California that burned well into 2018.
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Officials don't refer to "fire seasons anymore but rather to fire years," Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center, told me in an email.
The NIFC reports that this year, wildfires have burned more than 3.4 million acres, a bit behind the 4.5 million acres that had burned as of this time last year.