Courtesy of Edward Vielmetti on Flickr.
Despite surpluses of dry grass across the West, the 2010 fire season so far has represented about a 20-percent decrease in the number of recorded fires and a 50-percent decrease in total acreage burned in relation to the average season in the past decade, the New York Times reports.
Several weather systems dumped rain on the region throughout the summer and kept things unseasonably cool. Three weeks - historically dangerous weeks with dry weather and strong Santa Ana winds - remain in the season, but Forest Service officials are optimistic.
As of September 21, 48,022 fires had been reported and 2.73 million acres had burned. Over the past decade, fire seasons have seen 62,820 fires and 5.8 million acres burned on average by the same date.