The Colorado fire season looks like one of the most catastrophic in recent years. The assessment comes from climate researchers who described the devastation as a "fiery wake-up call for climate science".
The Pine Gulch fire in Colorado has passed the 140,000-acre mark, which officially makes this devastating fire, the largest in state history. Firefighters have worked day and night fighting the flames, and have been successful slowing down the growth of the blaze.
The record for the largest fire was held by the Hayman Fire, which burned between Denver and Colorado Springs in 2002. It was also a much more destructive fire that killed six and destroyed 133 homes. By contrast, no homes have burned down in the Pine Gulch Fire, but it has burned an unknown amount of grazing land.
Experts are warning: This year is particularly dry, and the worst could still be to come.
Wildfires are a reality in Colorado's forests. But after the driest winter in a decade, the state's forests, shrubs, and wild grass have been left dry and highly flammable. While Colorado's wildlife is generally adapted to deal with fires, the effects will be felt in the next months and even years as local communities both human and animal, struggle to rebuild.
Colorado's wildlife will bounce back, but it's up to us to help it in its hour of need. With fires still raging, local organizations and communities will be hard at work restoring what was lost. We can all make a difference and contribute to the restoration efforts.