The United States suffered a record-breaking season for wildfires in 2020 with 52,113 wildfires burning down 8,889,297 acres. Experts are on high alert for this year’s wildfire season to become even worse, as the country is already facing a dramatic increase in the number of fires. Reports show nearly twice the acreage burned this year compared to last year around this time.
The Western United States is facing a Two-Year Rain Deficit
Already in 2021, the Western United States is facing extreme heat and a drought of historic proportions. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s U.S. Drought Monitor is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. Their latest map shows that about 90% of the western region is in drought and about half the region is experiencing either severe or exceptional conditions. A drought combined with extreme heat creates an environment with excess dried-out vegetation that provides the perfect conditions for large-scale wildfires to start and spread quickly.
US Ecology in The Field
During last year’s fire season, US Ecology provided clean-up and removal services to nine counties in California, affecting over 6,000 properties. Our crews managed all hazardous waste and debris including ash, asbestos and lead containing material, in addition to soil contaminated with petroleum and mercury. Prior to 2020, the largest fire in the state’s history was the Thomas Fire that burned nearly 282,000 acres across Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. US Ecology’s crews worked non-stop for seven weeks on this fire response, removing over 400,000 pounds of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), and 2,000 tons of asbestos-containing-material from a total of 988 structures damaged by the fire.
Preparing Early is Key
US Ecology tracks the development of all major wildfires. Strategically positioned with 27 locations in the western region, our operations are prepared for the worst-case scenario, ready to respond to the needs of commercial and industrial clients, municipalities, local and federal government, as well as individual residential customers.
We urge the importance of having a plan in place to limit damage to your assets and get you back to business faster. During each event, our crews work closely with regulators to provide management, assessment and removal of HHW, asbestos containing material and other hazardous debris.
With over 30 years of experience managing emergency response needs, combined with our industry leading waste disposal and transportation network, we are ideally positioned to handle all your disaster response and hazardous material management needs.