In 2015, the National Mining Association issued its annual survey of coal-related fires.
In the first half of the year, the agency reported that 5,817 coal fires were burning in the U.S., compared to 4,547 in the same period last year.
That number represents a decline of 1.3 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the NMA.
The numbers also show a significant drop in coal-burning coal-fired power plants, which have remained stable in recent years.
In the second half of 2015, coal-producing plants in the West began burning at a steady pace, while the West’s second-largest source of coal — Ohio — saw its coal output decrease by 1.4 percent.
In 2015 and 2016, Ohio’s coal-fueled power plants were burning at about a third the rate of their 2014 and 2015 counterparts.
So while the national decline in coal has been relatively stable, the state’s power plants have experienced a significant increase in coal usage.
The Ohio power plant, which is now the third-largest in the country, was responsible for the largest increase in the use of coal in 2016, with the state generating an additional 2.2 million metric tons of coal.