Wildfires are an important ecosystem process throughout the western United States. The current wildfires in Southern California are not the first and, unfortunately, may not be the last to affect the region. In 2003, for example, a series of nine wildfires claimed more than 640,000 acres (equivalent to an area larger than 640,000 football fields) and destroyed more than 3,000 structures. According to estimates compiled by the State of California, a series of 23 wildfires have burned more than 750,000 acres in 2007.
For more information on wildfires, see:
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 10/2007