Editor’s note: Below, one of the items circulated in Nick Smith’s news service this morning. From Jefferson Public Radio, JPR. Thanks Nick!
Last year was the most expensive wildfire season ever. Federal agencies alone spent more than $2 billion on suppressing fires in 2015 and an estimated 2,500 homes were lost. This trend has been on the rise since the mid-1990s and continues to pick up steam.
Is there any end in sight?
The wildfire conundrum is made up of a complex set of interrelated factors. But it boils down to three main parts: forests out of ecological balance from decades of fire suppression; sprawling development in the woods that requires expanded firefighting efforts; and the mounting impacts of climate change.
Getting a handle on those problems will require creative and focused attention on all three.