US Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

US Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington

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The U.S. Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington forests to help make them more resistant to summer wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington forests to help make them more resistant to summer wildfires.
SEATTLE -

The U.S. Forest Service wants more controlled burns in Washington forests to help make them more resistant to summer wildfires.
    
But The Seattle Times reports rules administered by the state Department of Natural Resources are a roadblock to this fire prevention approach in Washington.
    
Controlled burns are endorsed by scientists as an important tool for keeping forests healthier and less susceptible to devastating wildfires.
    
The state rules that keep this firefighting tool from being used more often in Washington include rules aimed at keeping smoke from driving into communities.
    
That is why the Forest Service has carried out burns on far fewer acres in Washington than in Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California.
    
For example, during a 13-year period ending in 2014, the Forest Service completed controlled burns on 4.7 percent of Oregon's 15.7 million acres of national forests. In Washington, the Forest Service burned only 1.4 percent of its 9.3 million acres.
    
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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