Why suppressing wildfires may be making the Western fire crisis worse

By Kirk Siegler
National Public Radio
August 27, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

By Kent Siegler

ASHLAND, Ore. — Jason Fischer watches a firefighting chopper scoop a big bucket of water out of the Klamath River, as it douses hotspots on the McKinney Fire in remote Northern California. …The forests are neglected, not being managed, the saying goes. Environmental laws prevent them from being thinned or logged. “People are tired and worn out from the downturn of the timber industry and the poverty and lack of funds and lack of action,” says Larry Alexander, director of the Northern California Resource Center in nearby Fort Jones, Calif. “Then they look up and see everything burn up, and so they get angry.” Wildfires have burned about six million acres of land so far this year. Due to … a century or more of suppressing wildfires, Alexander says many forests are a tinder box. …Firefighters are really good at suppressing wildfire …but don’t they just leave more fuel for the next fire?

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