Preventing another historic wildfire season

The western wildfire season will be one for the history books and there is an effort underway in Washington to keep the damage from future seasons at bay.

There has been a lot of disagreement over how the season got so bad, everything from climate change to state governments mismanaging their forests.

A Colorado Democrat and Utah Republican want to create the Bipartisan Wildfire Caucus. It will require the same number of members from both parties, who will agree on wildfire management and mitigation efforts. The group will also work to make their colleagues in Congress aware of environmental protections, public safety, and preparedness and recovery when it comes to wildfires.

One crop that could benefit from wildfire management is hops.

An industry expert says that while this year’s harvest was large, smoke from September fires was a major contributor to why the yield-per-acre decreased from last year.

According to Jaki Brophy, “Basically, it just created some of the cones to become more brittle, and during the harvest progress, that can cause what we call cone shatter. So, yields were lower this year, unfortunately... However, due to decreased demand that ended up happening because of COVID, this is actually a good year to have a not-so-great year. It worked out well in that regard.”

She says that with so many small breweries and changing tastes, it will be important that hops growers continue to work with their customers to provide long-term needs.