7 times as many homes are burning in wildfires, compared to the 1970s

Photo by Jeff Zimmerman
Tubbs Fire, October, 2017. Photo by Jeff Zimmerman.

The New York Times has an article about the increasing number of wildfires and what has led us to this point. Written by Michael Kodas, the associate director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, it also discusses a few ways we can begin to deal with the growing conflagrations.

Below is an excerpt:

To some commanders, sending firefighters to protect homes and communities unprepared for the clear threat is effectively subsidizing a lifestyle with the lives of young men and women. They’re increasingly refusing to do that. That’s an important first step toward lowering the death toll, at least among emergency responders. Focusing forest thinning operations and prescribed burns on overgrown woodlands near communities is another. Modernizing the airpower used to hold back wildfires and carefully considering when and how to use it will make airborne firefighting safer and more effective, as will new technologies aiding the firefight every year. Building codes, land-use planning, insurance rates that reward wise construction and development, and community wildfire protection plans can also make a real difference.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, Bill Gabbert now writes about it from the Black Hills.

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One thought on “7 times as many homes are burning in wildfires, compared to the 1970s”

  1. It is not surprising that more homes are burned by wildfires…more homes have been, and are being, built in fire-prone areas. Stop putting homes in those areas. They can’t burn if they’re not there.

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