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Wildfires Have Burned Nearly 7 Million Acres So Far, Up 6 Percent From Last Year

There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.

Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.

Fresh data from the National Interagency Fire Center reinforce just how bad a summer it has been.

Year-to-date statistics

-- 2012. Fires: 42,745. Acres: 6,971,729.

-- 2011. Fires: 49,487. Acres: 6,563,414.

-- 2010. Fires: 44,326. Acres: 2,108,448.

-- 2009. Fires: 63,568. Acres: 5,108,045.

-- 2008. Fires: 62,659. Acres: 4,409,850.

-- 2007. Fires: 62,900. Acres: 6,469,774.

-- 2006. Fires: 77,176. Acres: 6,804,464.

-- 2005. Fires: 43,284. Acres: 6,702,148.

-- 2004. Fires: 53,578. Acres: 6,249,166.

-- 2003. Fires: 42,635. Acres: 2,467,372.

-- 10-year average. Fires: 54,236. Acres: 5,385,441.

Our calculations show that this year's 6,971,729 acres (so far) is an area just slightly smaller than the neighboring states of Maryland and Delaware combined.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration previously reported that in July alone, "warm and dry weather brought ideal wildfire conditions to a large portion of the nation. The 2.01 million acres that were burned by wildfires was the 4th most on record, while the 9,869 fires was the 5th most in the 2000-2012 record for July."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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