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FireEngineering.com - Burning concerns; Drought, heat trigger jitters before fire season

High in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and beneath a foot of snow, a wildfire is still burning.

Sparked by an errant October campfire, the 32-acre Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park has been smoldering in a remote area of the park, feeding off downed timber and weather that made 2012 the nation’s hottest year on record.

Experts such as Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, say wildfires will most likely get worse in the western USA as climate change lowers rainfall, raises average temperatures and contributes to insect infestations that are killing millions of trees, leaving forests full of dry timber ready to ignite.

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