"In the course of the 2000 wildland fire season, nearly 80,000 fires burned upwards of 7 million acres throughout the United States. Twice the yearly average (Figure 1), these statistics and the devastation caused by wildfire have led President Clinton to make federal disaster assistance available in several western states, including Montana and New Mexico, under major disaster declarations. Over 30,000 personnel, including firefighters from various international, federal, state, and local agencies were involved in efforts to control these fires. According to the USFA National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Data-base, at least 15 firefighters died in 2000 while engaged in wildland firefighting. Many experts predict that some fires will not be completely extinguished without snowfall. By the time this occurs, it is estimated that the value of land lost combined with other economic losses could exceed $10 billion."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/
Topical Fire Report Series (October 2000 (Rev. December 2001)), v.1 no.2