“This [2021] fire season is going to be worse than last year,” the vice president said.

Source: Harris drops by her local fire station on 4th of July – Axios

Actual

  • 7,125,643 acres burned in 2021 (Source NIFC)
  • 6 of the prior ten years burned more acreage than in 2021.
  • 11 of the prior ten years burned more acreage

Prior post on this topic, with an additional chart – from last fall before the 2021 fire season had ended.

U.S. Wildfires by Year

YearNumber of FiresNumber of Acres Affected
202058,95010,122,336
201950,4774,664,364
201858,0838,767,492
201771,49910,026,086
201667,7435,509,995
201568,15110,125,149
201463,3123,595,613
201347,5794,319,546
201267,7749,326,238
201174,1268,711,367
201071,9713,422,724
200978,7925,921,786
200878,9795,292,468
200785,7059,328,045
200696,3859,873,745
200566,7538,689,389
200465,4618,097,880*
200363,6293,960,842
200273,4577,184,712
200184,0793,570,911
200092,2507,393,493
199992,4875,626,093
199881,0431,329,704
199766,1962,856,959
199696,3636,065,998
199582,2341,840,546
199479,1074,073,579
199358,8101,797,574
199287,3942,069,929
199175,7542,953,578
199066,4814,621,621
198948,9491,827,310
198872,7505,009,290
198771,3002,447,296
198685,9072,719,162
198582,5912,896,147
198420,4931,148,409
198318,2291,323,666

Recently, the NIFC deleted all fire acreage for years before 1983 saying they could not confirm the accuracy of the data and they believed that in some years, intentionally set land clearing and agricultural burns were included in the data. Many suggested that prior data was inconvenient for the “wildfires getting worse” meme so all of it was deleted.

Particularly since the NIFC deleted all data prior to the lowest point on the curve, so that we only see an upwards curve since then. Picking starting and ending data points can change the perception delivered by a chart.

By EdwardM

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