Decades of wildfire suppression have allowed flammable fuels to pile up in US forests. Scientists and managers say careful use of planned fires can reduce risks of large, out-of-control burns.
Wildland firefighting has always been a risky job, but development in fire-prone areas is making it more dangerous by putting forest firefighters in situations they are not equipped or trained for.
Climate change, development, past forest management policies and current firefighting practices are creating conditions for large, costly wildfires.
A perfect storm of climate, forestry, development and fire management trends are driving up the costs of fighting wildfires.