As millions of acres burn in California and Oregon, officials in New Hampshire say this region is also facing a high risk of wildfires, amid drought and the arrival of cool, dry fall weather.
The National Weather Service says low humidity, “dry fuels” and gusty winds will elevate fire risk Monday in New Hampshire as well as in Maine. “Conditions are ripe for us to potentially see a lot of wildland fire ignition if people are not careful,” says forest ranger captain Douglas Miner with the state Division of Forests and Lands.
Climate change has caused average temperatures to increase in New Hampshire over the past several decades. It’s also causing more precipitation — but in heavier, more sporadic bouts and with long dry spells in between rainfalls. That combined with a lower winter snowpack leads to summer drought conditions. This year's drought is forecast to continue in the coming weeks. It began in May and is now severe in southeastern and central New Hampshire.