May 11, 2013 5:30 PM by Tony Spehar
RENO, Nev. (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell plan to offer a regional outlook next week for the upcoming fire season across the West. Agency experts forecast above normal fire potential across almost all of Arizona, New Mexico, California and Oregon. Portions of Utah, Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Washington also should see higher than normal threats.
Nevada is suffering from lingering drought but the lack of moisture has also stunted growth of fuels so the fire danger there is expected to be normal.
The secretaries plan a teleconference with reporters on Monday. They say last year's wildfires consumed more than 4,400 structures and 9.3 million acres of private, state, and federal land across the nation. That was the third highest number of acres burned since at least 1960.