As wildfires consume several thousand acres in the southwest, U.S. Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell notes, "So far the 2011 fire season has been relatively severe. More than 4 million acres have burned across the country, which is more than twice the to-date 10 year average. Parts of the south and southwest are in a prolonged drought. Most of the large fires have burned in the southeast, Texas , Oklahoma, Arizona and New Mexico and we also have some large fires in Alaska."
Tidwell testified Tuesday at a Senate Natural Resource Committee meeting on wildfire management programs.