Forest Management Pt 1

Forest Management Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. As fire crews continue to battle wildfires across the western U.S., Washington state finds itself under heavy attack for the third straight summer. More than half of the National Forest budget has been used up just fighting these fires.

Representative Dan Newhouse says it's become a huge problem that legislators are trying to fix ...

DAN NEWHOUSE ... "Fire suppression and battling fires eats up over half the Forest Service budget every year. So, we're looking at ways that we can stop that so that they have the resources they need not only to fight the fires, but also to perform the important management of our forests so we don't have the severity of these fires like have the last few years."

Newhouse says there are a couple of bills they're working on focused on how we can better manage our forests ...

DAN NEWHOUSE ... "The under-utilization of the assets we have in our national forests, which if managed properly, could actually be a huge source of income that could take care of the needs that the forest service budget has that has to do with active management. And then, like I said, that would reduce the amount forest fire suppression needs."

Seven large wildfires are still burning thousands of acres in eastern Washington.

More than 800 firefighters and 18 crews were assigned to fight the Jolly Mountain fire in recent days. It was sparked by a lightning strike on August 11th in the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and has burned nearly 30,000 acres so far.

Listen tomorrow for more on funding the firefighting efforts.

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