During a recent Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on wildfire management policy, USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwel cited research from within the agency linking fires and climate change. "Throughout the country, we’re seeing longer fire seasons, and we’re seeing snowpacks that, on average, are disappearing a little earlier every spring," as well as devastating droughts, said Tidwell. As a result, fire seasons have lengthened by more than 30 days, on average.
MORE: Senator John Kyl (R-AZ) addressed the committee concerning the ongoing Wallow fire, which is now the largest wildfire in Arizona history. Senator Kyl discussed the negative impact on communities and ecosystems from such large fires, and cited The True Costs of Wildfire in the Western U.S. report from the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, which estimates that the actual costs of wildland fires can range from 2 to 30 times more than suppression costs.