Opinion: Congress must fix wildfire funding problem

By Temperince Morgan, executive director The Florida Nature Conservancy
Tallahassee Democrat
November 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Temperince Morgan

As the U.S. fights wildfires nationwide, the federal government is burning through money that could go toward making forests healthier and less fire prone. At more than $2.4 billion, the government has spent more money fighting fires in 2017 than any other wildfire season on record. Fires have burned nearly 9 million acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, and fires are still blazing in many states.  In Florida, nearly 2,800 fires burned 200,030 acres so far in 2017, primarily occurring during a three-month drought, and including many acres across the northern part of the state. Fire management and funding are critical issues.  Not all wildfires are problematic nor need to be extinguished. …We need to break the cycle — and Congress holds the keys to a solution. We need to change how we fund firefighting.

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