Firefighters are “stretched to the max” dealing with west coast wildfires

The U.S. Forest Service says that it is operating in crisis mode-- “stretched to the max.”

About 21,000 firefighters are working on the ground right now, putting out fires in northern California. That is double the amount sent to contain fires a year ago.

More than 6,000 crews have been battling the Dixie Fire alone. It has burned nearly 600,000 acres, and is California’s second-largest ever.

That fire is currently the nation’s largest, and is 31 percent contained.

California Congressman Doug LaMalfa, a member of the Ag Committee, explains the current mode of attack.

According to the congressman, “What we do need is positive forest management. That means simple things like clearing along roadways so there’s trees that won’t catch fire from vehicle traffic, clearing around power lines. This fire started because a green, healthy tree fell into a power line amidst an overcrowded forest of dry trees and dry brush... This doesn’t need to happen, yet it keeps happening.”

He encourages the American public to get behind pieces of legislation introduced by House Republicans that he says will solve the issue.

Further north, Oregon’s largest fire is officially 100 percent contained.

The Bootleg Fire spanned across the southern portion of the state. It burned for more than a month, scorching nearly half a million acres. The Forest Service calls containment a great accomplishment.

We do not know the direct impact to ag.


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