Forest fires are natural, but the way they were managed for decades was unnatural. Unnaturally suppressing fires allowed fuel to accumulate leading to bigger fires when they did happen. That policy was finally changed, but now the climate is changing. Climate change and attendant drought are partly responsible for the recent increase in forest fires. Even with the new policies, fires must be fought when they threaten people and buildings, or when they may grow out of control. In 2015 a record amount was spent on the fires: $1.71B. As climate change continues, the amount spent on fighting forest fires is expected to grow, setting new records. Unfortunately, funding is tied up with policy disagreements between residents, timber companies, environmentalists, and others. The fires won’t wait for agreements.
(Click on the chart for the link.)
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