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On the heels of another dry winter, weather experts and firefighters are concerned the impending wildfire season could echo last year’s devastation, during which 9.2 million acres burned.

Large swaths of the western United States—from Southern California and Nevada across Utah, Colorado and Wyoming to Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska—are experiencing unseasonably high temperatures and long-term drought conditions. California has already battled at least one wildfire, which originated in Riverside County on February 28. Meanwhile, a series of small brush fires broke out in late March along the edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico. These early “smoke signals” remind authorities of the looming fire risks posed by dehydrated plant life and wind gusts.

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