- Last year was the worst year ever for wildfires in North America
- Droughts and billions of dead trees are exacerbating the problem
- Colorado and California alone have nearly 2 billion dead trees
Last year was the worst ever for wildfires in the US and this year appears to be starting early.
Oklahoma is currently struggling with several wildfires this month resulting in Oklahoma's governor, Mary Fallin calling a state of emergency in 52 counties due to wildfires which are thought to have killed thousands of cattle and wild animals.
According to Rod Hall, Oklahoma state veterinarian put preliminary cattle deaths at roughly 1,100 head and expects that number could eventually climb to around 2,000.
“We’ll never know the exact number and people are also still finding dead animals,” Hall said in an interview, adding that recent rains helped contain most of the blazes.
According to Reuters, Oklahoma is the nation’s fifth-largest cattle producing state with more than 5 million head.
While cattle losses were devastating for affected ranchers, overall livestock prices should not be affected, said economists and state officials.
Some cattle died directly from the fires while others were later euthanized due to injuries or smoke inhalation, he said.
Many Oklahoma pastures had not received adequate moisture for more than 200 days.
Animals in these areas were caught off-guard when flames were fanned by winds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 km per hour).
Some of the acres destroyed were much-needed grazing land for cattle, state officials said.
About half of Arizona is in the worst two categories of drought, a stark change from a year ago when only some areas were characterized as abnormally or moderately dry.
The wildfire in Arizona is one of the most active in the country, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
Weather forecasters have warned the fire season will be dangerous and life-threatening.
With more than a billion dead trees Colorado is an accident just waiting to happen!
Park County officials issued the mandatory evacuation order Sunday afternoon for the Ranch of the Rockies subdivision, which is about 75 miles west of Colorado Springs on the Park County border.
It was not immediately known how many people lived in the evacuation zone.
The fire was reported around 11:30 a.m. and initially covered five acres.
Gusting winds and warm temperatures threatened to fan the blaze.
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