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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: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here