Portland, Oregon – The Land Administration Office announced today, Saturday, plans to fund 11,000 miles of strategic firewalls in six states, an attempt to help control forest fires.
Firewalls in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah would support tasks to mitigate fire damage and protect firefighters, communities and natural resources, The Oregonian newspaper published on Saturday.
According to the Office of Land Administration (BLM) of the United States Department of the Interior, forest fires are increasingly large and frequent throughout the states of the Great Basin. Between 2009 and 2018, more than 13.5 million acres of BLM land burned in the area that is intended to be protected with firewalls.RELATED
“The recovery of the devastating effects of forest fires can take decades in the harsh and desert climate of the Great Basin. These tools will help firefighters contain the fires when they occur, ”said Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of Land and Mineral Administration, Casey Hammond, in a press release. “That’s why the creation of firewalls is enormously important for the entire basin, the people who live in those communities and for our firefighters.”
Firewalls are intended to prevent the spread of fire by creating deforested spaces in the middle of the vegetation. Its strategic implementation helps firefighters control the flames and protect homes and resources.
However, some scientists question the effectiveness of firewalls and question whether these efforts are worth financing.
The BLM reports that the evaluation of more than 1,200 firewalls determined that 78% of them helped control a fire and 84% contributed to the change in fire behavior. According to the press release, “the BLM has extensively documented that firewalls and other anti-propagation practices are effective.”