Trying to compare the acres treated with prescribed fire in California and Florida is like comparing apples and penguins. In addition to California’s significant regulatory issues, the vegetation there is more explosive (in some areas), the terrain complicates ignition, and the road systems and access can sometimes be challenging. By comparison Florida is flat, access is usually much easier, and the fuels are not as difficult for an experienced prescribed fire crew to safely ignite.
But with the increased wildfire activity in recent decades and pressure from many sources to treat hazardous fuels and rake the forests, more attention is being focused on prescribed fire as one way to mitigate the effects of climate change. However the number of acres treated on federal lands is directly related to the funds appropriated for that purpose. And those dollars have been relatively flat for a number of years.
Climate Central put together some interesting graphics. (Click on the images twice to see larger versions and more tweets in the thread.)
Prescribed burns reduce wildfire risks — but the U.S. spends little on them. The Southeast is the leader in managing land this way while the West lags badly behind, fueling deadly infernos.@ClimateCentral research collaboration with @uidaho’s @pyrogeog: https://t.co/PKCEdKaUDO pic.twitter.com/stK2zR6jXQ
— John Upton (@johnupton) May 29, 2019