Fewer firefighers, less wildfire fuels treatments and less post-fire rehab
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — The federal budget crunch means firefighters will have to do more with less this summer, federal officials said this week. Because of the sequester, the Forest Service will not fill 500 firefighting positions and will make do with 50 less engines on the ground.
“We are facing another dangerous wildfire season. We are prepared; we’re not as funded as we might be about 5 years from now, so teamwork is really critical to what we have to do,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, speaking Monday at a briefing at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise Idaho.
In particular, parts of the West are facing another challenging fire season, with greatest potential threats in the Pacific Coast states and into the interior northwest, including Idaho and southwest Montana, according to the center’s predictive services team. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, forest fires, Forest health, pine beetles and wildfires, public lands, US Forest Service, wildfires | Tagged: federal budget sequester, forest fires, National Interagency Fire Center, Tom Vilsack, Wildfires | 3 Comments »