Good news about wet spring: Lower risk of wildfires

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A Wet Spring Will Help Prevent Wildfires

By WEATHER.COM

Recent floods and unusually wet weather have reduced wildfire risk across much of the country, but the danger will increase in the coming months.

In its latest outlook report, the National Interagency Fire Center said the risk is lower than normal for much of the central and southern U.S., but is above normal in parched California.

The June 1 report also raised worries about the Southwest, Hawaii and Alaska, which are all at a heightened fire risk.

MORE: The Flooding Rescues You Haven't Heard About

As the summer progresses, fire danger is expected to increase across the country, especially in the Northwest, Georgia and the Carolinas. Above-normal temperatures are forecast for most of the West and the Atlantic coast.

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Good news about wet spring: Lower risk of wildfires
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: 3: Cal Fire firefighters walk through smoke during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: Cal Fire firefighters listen to intstructions during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: A Cal Fire firefighter practices extinguishing a grass fire during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: A Cal Fire firefighter practices extinguishing a grass fire during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: : A Cal Fire firefighter uses a drip torch to light dry grass on fire during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a drip torch to light dry grass on fire during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: Cal Fire firefighters march through a field of dry grass during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a drip torch to light dry grass on fire during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: A Cal Fire firefighter walks through smoke during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: Cal Fire firefighters march through a field of dry grass during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MT. HAMILTON, CA - JUNE 03: 3: Cal Fire firefighters march through a field of dry grass during a live fire training on June 3, 2015 in Mt. Hamilton, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Cal Fire firefighters roll up lengths of hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: A Cal Fire firefighter rolls out a section of hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Cal Fire firefighters stand in line during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Cal Fire firefighters pull a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Cal Fire firefighters use a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: Cal Fire firefighters roll up lengths of hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
NAPA, CA - MAY 27: A Cal Fire firefighter uses a hose during a training session on May 27, 2015 in Napa, California. Cal Fire firefighters are training ahead of what is expected to be an explosive wildfire season as California pushes through its fourth year of severe drought. The state has had over 1,000 wildfires since the beginning of the year. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CORRECTS LAST NAME TO SNYDER FROM SNYER In this Sunday, June 7, 2015 photo, smoke rises from the Bogus Creek Fire, one of two fires burning in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. Fire managers said Monday that weekend rain helped tamp down the fires which, together, total about 63 square miles. (Matt Snyder/Alaska Division of Forestry via AP)
A brush fire that broke out Saturday evening, April 18, 2015 burns in the Dam Prado Dam Flood Control Basin north of the city of Corona, Calif. Fire officials said some trees caught fire in the forested basin and grew to at least 75 acres. Firefighters were hampered by rough terrain in the area. (AP Photo/Dan Cole)
Grass smolders in a field next to the Tamiami Trail, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Miami. According to the Florida Forest Service, they and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue have been fighting the wildfire in Southwest Miami-Dade County, that has been burning since Sunday and prompting occasional road closures. It has affected more than 880 acres. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Smoke rises from a charred stand of melaleuca trees next to the Tamiami Trail, Tuesday, April 21, 2015, in Miami. According to the Florida Forest Service, they, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, have been fighting the wildfire in Southwest Miami-Dade County, that has been burning since Sunday and prompting occasional road closures. It has affected more than 880 acres. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: A firefighter wipes his eye as he hoses down hot spots in the remains of a destroyed home on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. Fueled by high winds, a fast-moving wildfire swept through the town of Weed yesterday afternoon, burning 100 structures that included the high school and a lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
WEED, CA - SEPTEMBER 16: Firefighters mop up hot spots in the remains of a destroyed home on September 16, 2014 in Weed, California. A fast moving wildfire fueled by high winds ripped through the town of Weed on the afternoon of September 15, burning 100 structures including the high school and lumber mill. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CAMP PENDLETON, CA - MAY 16: The Las Pulgas Fire lights the night on May 16, 2014 at Camp Pendleton, California. The fire is one of three large wildfires on Camp Pendleton that have scorched more than 22,000 acres. Firefighters have been battling 11 wildfires in San Diego County this week, including the fires on the Marine base. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, CA - MAY 15: A firefighter hoses flames at the Cocos fire on May 15, 2014 in San Marcos, California. Fire agencies throughout the state are scrambling to prepare for what is expected to be a dangerous year of wildfires in this third year of extreme drought in California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, CA - MAY 15: Flames spread at the Cocos fire on May 15, 2014 in San Marcos, California. Fire agencies throughout the state are scrambling to prepare for what is expected to be a dangerous year of wildfires in this third year of extreme drought in California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, CA - MAY 15: Flames spread near a firefighter at the Cocos fire on May 15, 2014 in San Marcos, California. Fire agencies throughout the state are scrambling to prepare for what is expected to be a dangerous year of wildfires in this third year of extreme drought in California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
SAN MARCOS, CA - MAY 15: A firefighter pulls a hose in position while battling the Cocos fire on May 15, 2014 in San Marcos, California. Fire agencies throughout the state are scrambling to prepare for what is expected to be a dangerous year of wildfires in this third year of extreme drought in California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will discuss wildfire threats and the nationwide outlook for the wildfire season Tuesday in Denver.

They'll also discuss a proposal by Obama to change the way wildfire-fighting is funded to ease the strain on the U.S. Forest Service budget.

The worst 1 percent of wildfires eat up about 30 percent of the Forest Service's firefighting budget, they said.

MORE: Stay Safe If A Wildfire Threatens Your Home

Obama wants to treat the cost of catastrophic fires like other natural disasters, taking money from an existing federal disaster relief fund so the Forest Service doesn't have to tap into other funds designed to improve forest health and reduce future fires.

The Forest Service is part of the Agriculture Department.

In a report released in August, the Agriculture Department said staffing for fighting fires has more than doubled since 1998, but the number of workers who manage National Forest lands has dropped by about a third.

When the report was made public, Vilsack said rising firefighting costs cut into programs to restore vegetation and watersheds after fires. Programs that help states and private landowners conserve wildlife habitat and maintenance of recreational sites has also suffered, Vilsack said.

Vilsack and Jewell have warned that catastrophic wildfires pose a worsening danger, especially in the West.

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