Further, the traditional dates of the wildfire season, June through September, no longer fully encompass the true period of threat, which is now May through October.
Recent droughts have exacerbated the tendency for wildfires in 2011 and 2012. But cutbacks in forest fire prevention have also contributed the hazard.
In the summer of 2012 740,000 homes valued at $136 billion in 13 Western states were at high risk of wildfire. Of these, 168,000 (valued at $32 billion) were at very high risk.