Wildfires used to be only during a certain season. Now, because of global warming, they are much more frequent and occur earlier and later in the year, in some places almost year around. This is a result of climate changes as there are drier winters and warmers springs making fires more likely to start. Additionally, the forests in which the fires start are too dry and overgrown creating much more risk.
"The 10.1 million acres that burned in the United States last year were the most on record, and the top five years for acres burned were in the past decade." Last year's federal costs to fight wildfires was $2 billion, which as more than eight times the amount in 1985.
Hawaii is an example of a state that is desperate need of more federal funding to fight wildfires. They ran out of money four whole months before the busiest time of year for wildfires. One way the United States Forest Service is trying to fight this drastic problem is by minimizing the risk, like planned burns of overgrown areas of forest.
Only this year, Arizona has have nearly 300 fires that burned more than 21,000 acres, which is double the amount they have by this time last year.
The Washington State Legislature asked "for an extra $24 million to train more firefighters, put more equipment into the hands of local fire districts and help homeowners clear brush from their properties. He got $6.7 million." This is a severely lacking amount when wildfires could spread an wipeout whole counties.
"Some argue that fires should be left to take their natural course and clear out the thick, dry brush on the forest floor." This is a problem because due to the advanced technology that exists many more people are moving into wild lands. They are able to work anywhere with the internet. “More and more, fire crews are pulling back, willing to sacrifice land for safety.”
Some people want to cut cost for firefighting, which seems like a really bad idea.
I believe that a good course of action would be to restrict more people from moving into dangerous areas in isolation with high risk of wildfires. The government should continue to increase the budgets to fight wildfires as it is a matter of people's safety and they need to find a way to decrease the number of fires, if possible. Environmental protection is also important. It takes a long time for forests to grow back and each fire destroys the earth. We only get one earth to live on. I believe that the environmental protection and the safety of the public is a top priority.
Do you think that the government should spend more money on fighting wildfires? Can they do more and should they?
Do you believe that purposely burning the forest is the best solution as it causes more damage to the ozone layer and earth as a whole?
What type of policy would you implement to battle these fires?
Do you think that more regulation of people in wildfire areas will help stop the vast number of fires?