Watching the West go up in smoke...
Since 1976 and the advent of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) research has shown a steady increase in wild land fire to include increases in volume, acreage burned, intensity, and naturally cost.
2017 was one of the worst fire seasons on the books setting records as the U.S. Forest Service spent a blistering $2 billion battling wild land fires. This does not take into consideration the financial strain incurred by the BLM, nor the nearly $40 billion in insurance costs that were reported in California.
Decades of dysfunctional federal bureaucracy is literally dismantling the environmental well being of Nevada and the West. Record-setting wildfires are not only destroying wildlife habitat, they also kill off the animals themselves. It is estimated that between 2002-2011 nearly 41 million acres were burned in 11 western states killing approximately 122 million wild animals while spewing over 4 billion pounds of carcinogenic pollutants into the air. Why? Because for nearly 40 years various federal policies and procedure have been adopted that restrict wildland firefighters from doing their job effectively.
Since 1975 the West has seen a steady annual increase in the amount of acreage burned. The charts below are provided utilizing data from the National Inter-agency Fire Center.
As you can imagine - with more fires comes more costs. The following chart represents fire suppression costs on Western lands since 1985. Bear in mind, these costs do not include insurance costs to cover damage or the remediation of affected lands.
IN THE NEWS
America's 'Sagebrush Sea' in the West is going up in Smoke...
Rangeland fires are outpacing forest fires when it comes to acreage destroyed. But the crisis is going unnoticed outside of the Rural West
Reno Gazette Journal
The West's worst fires aren't burning in forests
Range fires get bigger every year, threatening sagebrush habitat and rural towns
High Country News
A Sea of Sagebrush Disappears, Making Way for Fire Prone Cheetgrass
"There seems to be an imbalance in the amount of resources and conservation - in terms of policy and legislation - dealing with rangeland fire vs. forest fire issues. People don't talk about rangeland fire"