Active management of wildfires is anti-intuitive

By George Wuerthner, ecologist
Idaho State Journal
October 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently Sen. Jim Risch published …a commentary on wildfire that had some inaccurate assumptions about wildfire. While Risch described the inconveniences, health risks and often economic impacts of wildlife, he misinterprets the causes, thus doesn’t have the correct solutions. For instance, Risch noted that firefighting costs reached $2 billion this past year, but failed to note that 95 percent of that cost is associated with defending homes and structures. Why is this important? Because construction of homes in the wildlands-urban interface continues to occur. Firefighters are risking their lives to save homes from fires that should never have been constructed. …This brings me to the second flawed assumption of Risch. He suggests that “wildfires are at least partially preventable and almost fully manageable.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

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