The Associated Press
PORTLAND — The Northwest led the nation in wildfires this year.
Citing federal statistics, The Oregonian reported Thursday that the number of wildfires in Oregon and Washington is down — 3,270 — but the area burned is higher than any other region of the country — a total of nearly 1.3 million acres.
Northwest Interagency Coordination Center spokeswoman Carol Connolly says the region set a record with 43 days as the nation’s top firefighting priority, with 12,000 people fighting fires in the two states during one week in July.
Mike Ferris of the National Interagency Fire Center says that while much of the nation saw wetter and cooler than normal weather, Oregon was in the second year of drought, and both states saw frequent lightning storms, particularly east of the Cascades.