USA — On Friday, the U.S. Senate rejected an Amendment that would have fully funded the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildland Fire Management Fund in preparation for 2013’s wildfire season.
Senator Mark Udall, D-CO, introduced the amendment. He said experts predict that next year’s fire season could be more severe than 2012’s, which produced the two most destructive blazes in Colorado history: the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires.
The amendment would have restored $653 million to the management account for wildfire preparedness, suppression, hazardous fuels reduction, research and development and state fire assistance.
It would have also increased the budget request for the Wildland Fire Management fund to the projected median cost of the 2013 wildfire season, $1.584 billion.
Udall said in a press release Friday that while he understands the budgetary restraints the nation is under, the amendment would save taxpayers money, lives and property in the long-run. The failure was in the forest areas.Advertisement
Following a 10-year strategy, ACT fire managers have created a mosaic across the landscape of different fuel levels, burning at every opportunity.
But forests have been too wet to burn this spring and the past two summers.
A network of 500 fire trails and strategic burns along the north-west urban edge, heavy grazing and extra grass slashing will create a fortress for the territory which forecasters say faces a higher than average risk this summer.
After a fire-fuelled tornado in January 2003 killed four Canberrans and frightened thousands more, CSIRO fire expert Phil Cheney told the subsequent inquiry the fire’s penetration into urban areas under extreme conditions did not reflect a failure of fuel management on the urban interface.