Over 33,000 Wildfires Reported in 2021 So Far, Most Since 2011

There have been over 33,000 wildfires reported in the U.S. throughout 2021, which is the most the nation has seen since 2011.

According to data recently released by the National Interagency Fire Center [NIFC], throughout 2021, there have been at least 34,216 wildfires across the U.S. These fires have burned approximately 2,221,835 acres of land.

The data shows the number of wildfires reported in 2021 is the most since 2011, when there were 40,051 reported wildfires. At least 5,812,728 acres of land were burned from the wildfires in 2011.

In comparison, there were 27,941 fires reported in 2020; 22,507 in 2019; 33,094 in 2018; and 34,149 in 2017. According to the data, from 2011 to 2020, the U.S. has averaged 30,514 reported wildfires. An average of 3,125,609 acres have been burned over the past 10 years, according to the data.

"More than one million acres have burned in 68 large fires and complexes across 12 states. Type 1 and Type 2 Incident Management Teams are assigned to 26 incidents along with 6,650 wildland firefighters and support personnel," the NIFC wrote in an update on Wednesday.

According to the NIFC, there are currently 68 active "large fires," which have burned at least 1,038,003 acres.

The data shows that there are 14 active fires in Idaho; 12 in Montana; 11 in Arizona; eight in California; six in Alaska; six in Oregon; five in Washington; and two in Wyoming. New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Minnesota all have at least one active wildfire.

The largest of all the active wildfires in the U.S. is the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. The Bootleg Fire is located near the Fremont-Winema National Forest and as of Wednesday, it has burned at least 212,377 acres and is 0 percent contained. The Bootleg Fire was first reported on July 6 and its cause remains under investigation.

Earlier this week, fire officials reported the Bootleg Fire burned 153,000 acres, but it has continued to grow amid dry and hot weather conditions.

"The fire will continue to be extremely active in unchecked portions of the perimeter, with unstable air conditions and extremely dry fuels," fire officials said in a recent update to the Bootleg Fire. "Spread direction will be dictated primarily by wind direction, topography, and drought-stressed fuels. Continued persistent drought and dry conditions will encourage spotting."

In addition to the Bootleg Fire, numerous other wildfires across California, Idaho and New Mexico have burned over 88,000 acres.

The number of fires reported across the U.S. in 2021 have come amid record breaking heat waves on the west coast, as well as numerous states reporting severe drought conditions.

Newsweek reached out to the National Interagency Fire Center for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Wildfires
The U.S. has recorded the most wildfires this year since 2011. The Salt Fire burns in the hills above Shasta Lake on July 1 in Lakehead, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty