We support responsible, science-driven methods for
preventing and reducing catastrophic wildfire.
Forest fires are natural, but catastrophic wildfire shouldn’t be the “new normal.” The forests of Washington state are vital to us in terms of the role they play in our economy and our environment.
While the natural cycle of fire can be beneficial in keeping fuel levels low in healthy forests, when blazes break out in unhealthy forests, we have all seen the magnitude of unnatural destruction that can occur.
We don’t have to accept catastrophic wildfires as the “new normal.”
We support four key elements to reduce catastrophic forest fires in Washington state and improve overall forest health.
Fuel reduction promotes healthy, fire-resilient forests.
Up to 1/3 of the forests in Eastern Washington are in need of restoration. Scientific research shows that proactively managing forests maintains and improves forest health and habitat quality. Harvesting, thinning small trees and clearing brush followed by controlled burning can all be effective methods to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. “Prescribed fires” are carefully managed fires during mild weather conditions used to intentionally reduce vegetation under trees, prepare new seed beds, and dispose of excess wood debris on the forest floor.
Attacking fires with early suppression pays off.
Although fires are part of a natural cycle, when blazes break out in unmanaged, unhealthy forests the results exceed Nature’s plans. Acting quickly to keep fires small with early suppression can prevent larger-scale devastation and environmental damage.
An ounce of fire prevention can save property, habitat and lives.
The easiest fire to fight is one that doesn’t occur. When privately owned, state, and federally managed forests are on the same page for applying practices that promote forest health, the conditions that catastrophic fire need to rage in many cases do not exist.
Post-fire environmental recovery is a hands-on process we need to do more of.
After a fire has burned out or been extinguished, science can tell us when it’s right to begin ecological restoration. By getting to work as soon as possible, we can retain the economic value of burned timber and do critical work to control soil erosion that can harm water quality, fish habitat, and create increased risk of landslides.
Read on and be sure to join our mailing list to stay informed and show your support for solutions that really can help.