The kind of summer not seen for three decades could turn into a record wildfire year for the Mark Twain National Forest.
In a normal year the fires would have stopped in mid-May in the forest. But they’ve continued into summer and Fire Management Officer Jody Eberly says it’s possible the spring fire season could burn its way into the fall fire season–and into the record books.
In an average year, the forest has 174 fires, spring and fall, burning about 51-hundred acres. This year Eberly has counted 140 fires already that have burned six-thousand acres, more than 1600 of them in one fire in Taney County.
Eberly says the last time fire conditions were like this year’s conditions was 1980 and before that, in the early ’50s. The daily humidifies have been far below average and even in the last few days when temperatures have eased and the humidity has come up, it has been nowhere near the usual levels.
Eberly says that leaves conditions “very volatile.”