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Thursday, September 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

U.S. Forest Service budget nearly gone to fight fires

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that by the end of August, the U.S. Forest Service will most likely use up it's annual firefighting budget - way before the fiscal year ends in October.  While fires continue through Washington and much of the west, it was troubling to learn this is the seventh time money has ran out in twelve years even though the budget has been remained unchanged.

From VOX: There are a couple of reasons why wildfires might be growing. Poor forest management has arguably played a role. In some areas, managers have suppressed smaller fires to protect nearby homes and let brush build up — making the forests more susceptible to massive blazes. Inadequate budgets are another big factor.

 

But the researchers noted that global warming is also a likely culprit, not least because wildfires are growing in virtually every region in the West.

​“The really amazing thing is that we don’t just see an increase in one or two regions,” lead author Philip Dennison, a geographer at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, told me in May. “We’re seeing it almost everywhere — in the mountain regions, in the Southwest. That tells us that something bigger is going on, and that thing appears to be climate change.”

So we're going to see more fires while the budget stays the same and we dip into the reserve funds for preventing fires. 

Full story HERE




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Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.