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Idea of the Day: Reforming the Wildfire Budget Is Critical for Our Public Lands

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With just two weeks to go until Memorial Day, wildfire season is already in full swing. This year, California already has seen more than 1,100 fires—double the average of the previous five years—and experts are forecasting above-normal wildfire potential across much of the West this summer.

The U.S. Global Change Research Program recently released the National Climate Assessment, a survey of the best available science about the effects of climate change in the United States. It predicts that over the next 50 years, the area burned by wildfires will double in the southern Rockies and increase by as much as 74 percent in California as wildfire seasons become longer and more damaging. In the West, climate change is resulting in drier and hotter weather, more intense and frequent droughts, and low snowpack that, taken together, are increasing the risks of wildfire.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

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