As Fire Risk Explodes Across the West, an Oregon City Finds a Solution

"Using selective logging and controlled burns, Ashland has reduced fire risk on thousands of acres in the forested watershed that provides the city’s drinking water. The partnership that made it happen could be a model for other fire-prone communities."

"All over the West, overgrown forests represent a ticking time bomb. A century of fire suppression and inappropriate logging practices have left forests dangerously overgrown. Add climate change – rising temperatures, shrinking snowpacks – and the threat of catastrophic fires becomes very real.

In California, thousands of homes were recently incinerated in Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara by fires that could not be controlled. In the latter case, subsequent mudslides killed more people than the original fires and also harmed water quality.

Fixing the problem is difficult. Simply cutting down overgrown vegetation is expensive and poses many environmental concerns. Lighting more controlled burns raises worries about chronic smoke inhalation and the potential for a runaway fire."

Matt Weiser reports for Water Deeply February 20, 2018.

Source: Water Deeply, 02/20/2018