The 2018 wildfire season has consumed more than two million acres of land, with more than 100 fires burning as of earlier this month. This comes after another two million acres of land burned in 2017.
Over 30,000 personnel – including firefighters from the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand as well as soldiers and airmen of the National Guard – are battling the flames. Said one California guardsman, “We live and serve in the communities that have been devastated by these fires. We train year-round to come to the aid of our neighbors when tragedy strikes.”
In response to the devastating wildfires, the U.S. Forest Service has put forth a plan that calls for increased wildfire mitigation efforts, to include road maintenance, increased logging, and the removal of dead plants.
According to a Forest Service report, “catastrophic wildfires and the corresponding loss of lives, homes and natural resources have continued to grow, partly because our treatments have been uncoordinated and not at the right scale.” The report goes on to stress the importance of “shared responsibility” for managing fire risks.
For more information about the firefighting efforts, please follow the links below.
Thousands of Guardsmen Battle Western U.S. Wildfires, Department of Defense
More than 100 large wildfires in U.S. as new blazes erupt, Reuters
Forest Service to Work More Closely With States to Battle Wildfires, Route Fifty
National Fire News, National Interagency Fire Center