Fires in New Mexico and Colorado have forced evacuations and destroyed hundreds of structures, and the U.S. Forest Service chief is renewing his call to restore forests to a more natural state, where fire was a part of the landscape ccording to an article in the Washington Post. |
The article goes on to say that 'Experts have said a combination of decades of vigorous fire suppression and the waning of the timber industry over environmental concerns has left many forests a tangled, overgrown mess, subject to the kind of super-fires that are now regularly consuming hundreds of homes and millions of acres'.
More than 600 firefighters and nearly 30 aircraft are continuing to fight a northern Colorado wildfire blamed for one death and damage to more than 100 structures.
The fire 15 miles west of Fort Collins has burned 73 square miles, destroyed over 100 structures and forced hundreds of people from their homes. The evacuees face extended displacement and uncertainty.
In southern New Mexico, lightning caused a fire which raced across more than 37,000 acres in recent days, damaging or destroying at least 224 homes and other structures in the mountains outside of the resort community of Ruidoso.
The Forest Service is urgently planning to accelerate restoration programmes to include everything from prescribed fire and mechanical thinning — by 20 percent each year in key areas that are facing the greatest danger of a catastrophic fire. These p[rogrammes are said will cost about $1 billion. The causes are said to include more erratic weather conditions.
Source:Washington Post - USDA