Fire season off to dangerous start with almost 1 million acres already burned

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Wildfires have burned through almost a million acres of land already this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. 

Last year around this time, the number of acres burned was only about half of the current total. Wildfires peak in late spring and continue through fall.

The threat for increased fire danger conditions across the U.S. is expected to continue in the coming weeks.  

A home burned in Grizzly Flat, Calif., during the Caldor Fire in September 2021.

A home burned in Grizzly Flat, Calif., during the Caldor Fire in September 2021. (Fox News)

NEBRASKA WILDFIRES KILL EX-FIRE CHIEF, HURT 15 FIREFIGHTERS

Just north of Sacramento, the capital city of California, hundreds of goats and sheep are doing their part by eating overgrown weeds and grass.

The goats and sheep are being used to help reduce the risk of grass fires that could spread to nearby homes. The goats’ removal of grass reduces fire risk.  

The city started the program last year at another regional park. The goats and sheep have been brought back, ahead of what fire officials say could be a potentially devastating wildfire season. 

Goats are being used in Sacramento, Calif., as an alternative ahead of the 2022 fire season to help clear overgrown brush and grass to prevent the spread of grass fires. 

Goats are being used in Sacramento, Calif., as an alternative ahead of the 2022 fire season to help clear overgrown brush and grass to prevent the spread of grass fires.  (Fox News)

“We’ve had a fairly dry winter, so it’s going to be a more active fire season,” California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Battalion Chief Jon Heggie said. 

WILDFIRES FUELED BY WINDY CONDITIONS FORCE MORE EVACUATIONS, HAMPER PROGRESS

Every state in the west is experiencing extreme drought in at least one county. Almost all California cities are experiencing severe drought conditions. 

Almost 43% of the country is experiencing severe drought conditions. Just over 20% is experiencing extreme drought conditions, as of April 25, 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Almost 43% of the country is experiencing severe drought conditions. Just over 20% is experiencing extreme drought conditions, as of April 25, 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  (Fox News)

“As the summer comes, the area becomes drier and drier, and this is a fire hazard abatement effort,” Sacramento Parks Manager Shawn Aylesworth said. 

Though small, the goats can clear a few acres in just a couple of days and get into hard-to-reach areas machinery can’t. 

MOST WIDESPREAD DROUGHT IN 9 YEARS EXPECTED TO EXPAND

“As we go into the hot summer months, that dry fuel will be more receptive to have the potential for another busy fire season,” Heggie said.

This method of grazing isn’t new for farmers and ranchers but has become a more sustainable and safe way of clearing overgrown brush.

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