More wildfires on the Great Plains

Jun 27, 2017

Smoke from a wildfire filled the air south of Fritch, Texas on March 6. The fire was one of several that broke out across the High Plains that day.
Credit Valarie Smith / High Plains Public Radio

Wildfires can be started by neglected campfires or cigarette butts. They can ignite from prescribed burns run amok, or launch from lightning strikes.

However they’re caused, Victoria Donovan, a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, has been running the numbers to see how often they’re happening.

In a new study, she found a serious uptick in wildfires over the last 30 years across the Plains from Texas to the Dakotas.