After losing over 4 million acres of forests last year to wildfires in California – that’s 1/10th of our total forestland – we need to take a proactive approach to save the remaining 33 million acres. Native Americans have been doing prescribed burns for centuries, and now Cal Fire and the Federal Forest Service are planning to do just that.
The goal is to reduce fire risk on 1 million acres of forest and wildlands each year. They’ll do this by manually thinning overgrown forests and intentionally burning hundreds of thousands of acres annually. The federal government will handle the lion’s share of the forestland, while Cal Fire works with private landowners through the vegetation management program.
For the past 100 years, California has focused on suppressing all prescribed fires, and now we’re paying a huge price for that. Even though some residents oppose these burns due to increased air pollution, we need to reduce the possibilities of having more out-of-control wildland fires. I think we all can deal with a few smoky days while we create firebreaks and manage our forests so we don’t lose our homes, lives, and remaining forests.