Did you know that 8 of the 9 worst years for wildfires ever recorded have all been since the year 2000? The western half of the United States just keeps getting hotter and drier, and this is creating ideal conditions for wildfires. The furious wildfire that took the lives of 19 brave firefighters in Yarnell, Arizona on Sunday is just one example of this.
That wildfire has already consumed more than 200 buildings in the town of Yarnell, and it now spans nearly 9,000 acres even though more than 400 firefighters are battling it. High winds, record setting heat and bone dry conditions have created a “perfect storm” that firefighters are having a very difficult time contending with.
Unfortunately, scientists tell us that things may continue to get even worse for the western half of the country. Most of the territory between the Mississippi River and the west coast seems to be steadily getting drier, and that means it is rapidly being transformed into an intensely hot, bone dry burn zone.
What we just witnessed in Arizona was not an isolated incident. Last week, the nation was captivated by the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history. And according to NBC News, officials are saying that this could be the worst season for wildfires in the state of California in 100 years…
Southern California fire officials warned Monday that the state should take caution during a brutal fire season that projections suggest could be the worst to hit the region in a century.
“We’re going to have a very volatile fire season,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said at a Monday afternoon news conference, who noted it could be the worst in 100 years.
So what is causing all of this?
Well, drought is one of the primary reasons why we are seeing so many fires. In a previous article, I explained that scientists believe that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the United States in 1000 years. During that time, we built cities in a lot of places that historically have been very hot and very dry.
And now things appear to be reverting to more normal historical patterns. And that means very dry conditions. The past year has been the driest ever recorded for both California and New Mexico, and this past winter was extremely dry for the entire western half of the country.
Sadly, the drought never seems to end. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, intensely dry conditions stretch from east Texas all the way to the California coastline right now.
And of course the crazy heat wave that western states are experiencing at the moment is certainly not helping things. The high temperature in Phoenix was 115 on Sunday, and the mercury hit 129 in Death Valley.
Meanwhile, the western half of the country continues to dry up at a staggering rate. Will we soon see severe water restrictions imposed in cities and towns all over the Southwest?
If you think this is just hype, check out what is already happening in one town in Utah…
Look around the city of Lehi and you see beautiful green lawns. You would never know they were in the middle of a water emergency. Some residents don’t even know. That’s why the city is passing out fliers to every resident, letting them know if they don’t change their ways some neighborhoods could be out of drinking water as early as tomorrow.
Anna Morales got one on her door yesterday and couldn’t believe how serious the situation had become.
“I was shocked because I hadn’t heard anything prior to that,” Morales said.
Sadly, even most of the people that live in these areas don’t really know what is going on. They just assume that everything will be fine and that plenty of fresh water will always be there.
But as I wrote about recently, the truth is that we are rapidly seeing conditions emerge which are reminiscent of the 1930s. In fact, some western states are already experiencing absolutely massive dust storms that can last for up to 15 hours. And in Nevada recently, an “apocalyptic” dust storm caused a 27 vehicle pileup…
Twenty-seven vehicles slammed into each other during a sandstorm in rural Northern Nevada, killing one person, seriously injuring several others and sapping already-thin emergency resources Monday evening, officials said.
Humboldt County sheriff’s dispatchers called in virtually every medical, law enforcement and fire worker in the sparsely populated area after drivers reported “near-apocalyptic” conditions on Interstate 80 three miles west of Winnemucca, according to officials at the Humboldt General Hospital.
For much more on all of this, please see my recent article entitled “Dust Bowl Conditions Are Literally Returning To The Western Half Of The United States“.
In this day and age, we like to think that our technological advancements have conquered nature, but that is most definitely not the case.
Our most important sources of fresh water in the western half of the nation are rapidly running dry, and the “breadbasket of America” is starting to turn back into the Dust Bowl.
What are we going to do when the water is gone?
What is going to happen to food prices if crops start failing out west year after year?
And what is the western half of the country going to eventually look like if wildfires continue to get even worse?
Scientists tell us that what we experienced last century was not normal. For some reason, the western half of the country was unusually blessed with rain. But now that has changed. Things are going back to how they were before.
Are we going to be able to handle that?