It’s going to be another hot summer across Washington.
On top of high temps, worsening drought conditions prompted the State Department of Natural Resources and Gov. Jay Inslee to upgrade a statewide burn ban issued earlier this week to an emergency proclamation.
Click here for more details on the burn ban.
Following last year’s devastating and historic wildfires, and with even some forests west of the Cascades drier than usual, the State’s aggressive burn ban and emergency stance is prudent.
Across the state, private forestland owners have consistently taken proactive steps by implementing forest practices to keep the land healthy and fire-resistant. The safety of emergency personnel who have to respond to fires is something to take very seriously, as are the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people connected by Washington’s working forests.
Selective thinning is one smart fire mitigation strategy that deprives smaller fires of fuel before they even start. The aim: preventing catastrophic runaway blazes like the Carlton Complex Fire that grabbed national headlines last year.
Nevertheless, progress in D.C. has been slow on allowing a responsible increase in federal forest rehabilitation efforts such as selective thinning, despite the federal government’s own data showing that federal forests in Washington contain twice as many dry, dead, and standing trees (that's all combustible, folks) than exist on private forestland.
Are your representatives in D.C. hearing enough from you about responsible practices that can help protect Washington’s forests from devastation caused by runaway wildfires?
Across Washington, private forestland, state forests, tribal lands and federal forests share boundaries, but fires don’t respect lines on a map. We’re all in this together.
- Your Friends in Working Forests