The National Interagency Fire Center reports 80 fires are now raging across the country.
The Caldor Fire currently engulfing Lake Tahoe in California has tragically scorched over 140,000 acres and displaced many people from their homes.
It’s unacceptable to tolerate this scale of destruction year after year. Nevertheless, preservationist environmental policies — namely a century of fire suppression — are responsible for our fire mitigation woes.
As these fires expand and grow more intense, Congress and the White House must prioritize proactive forest management. It’s not enough to organize two working groups on the issue. For forest management to be realized, policymakers must identify the root causes of high-intensity fires instead of solely assigning blame to climate change.
A recent IOP Science study of key drivers behind fires determined that live fuel contributes the most to fires (53%) — followed by weather (23%) and climate change (14%). Even in California, top forest scientists point to massive accumulation of wood fuel, not climate change, as the underlying factor behind intense events.
According to the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), the U.S. Forest Service maintains a backlog of 80 million acres requiring restoration and noted 63 million acres susceptible to “high or very high risk of wildfire.”
But instead of listening to the