"After several years of relatively benign fire seasons, the West is headed into a hot, dry summer of potentially ferocious blazes like the ones that have scorched Colorado in recent weeks."
"The wildfires that have already destroyed more than 700 homes and outbuildings along Colorado's Front Range and blackened hundreds of thousands of acres of New Mexico wilderness are not likely to be the season's last for one simple reason: drought.
'This year, fires are going big,' Tom Harbour, fire and aviation director for the U.S. Forest Service, said last week. 'We've had some really extraordinary runs … fires that are running 10 miles in lighter fuels. Fires that are running miles in forested areas.'
A dry La Nina winter and a paltry, quick-melting snowpack in much of the West have set the stage for another incendiary summer, compounding the effects of a long-term drought that has gripped the seven-state Colorado River basin for more than a decade."
"Experts in Aspen Say Climate Change Is Stoking Blazes Around the World" (Real Aspen/Colorado Independent)