Wildfires scorched 40-50 million acres a year during the 1930s, making fire control a national priority. By 1960, the area burned annually had been reduced by 90 percent. But wildfires are again gaining ground on federal lands. [Source: USFS Wildland Fire Statistics] Congressional failure to attack the two primary underlying causes--disease and stand density--is making a bad situation worse. This 1996 Nevada fire burned to bedrock killing everything in sight.