[Ed. – “Environmentalist” policies just keep generating more fuel, and prohibit removing it by clearing or prescribed burning. Result: a century of fuel-loading.]
Prescribed burns keep forests healthy by burning up the underbrush that accumulates on the forest floor and by thinning trees. Yet for decades the Forest Service has suppressed most fires. According to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection executive summary: “Land and fire management have in many cases increased fire hazard. In some shrub types, fire suppression appears to have shifted the fire regime away from more, smaller fires toward fewer, larger fire.”
Despite scientific evidence, the federal government continues spending more money on fire suppression than prescribed burns. The Forest Service has performed prescribed burns on an average of 2,187,64 2 acres a year for the past ten years, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
This means the Forest Service has only performed prescribed burns on 11.3 percent of the land they manage. When explaining to Mother Jones why the California Wine Country fires were so bad last October, fire ecologist Sasha Berleman said, “We have 100 years of fire suppression that has led to this huge accumulation of fuel loads.”
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