Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said he knows that the media is going to cover the Hurricanes that have devastated areas of Texas, Louisiana and Florida, but he also has his eyes on our area.
“But if you’re out there in those rural areas in the Northwest and the Northern Rockies, you see the devastation and damage. I’ve been out there twice and it’s unbelievable what’s happening.”
The cost of wildfire suppression in 2017? Perdue said it will be about $2 billion.
Perdue and new U.S. Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke have been very vocal in the steps that need to be taken.
“Our budget has moved from 15 percent for fire suppression to over half. It may be more than that this year in having to fight fires. There’s no way that we can do the kinds of forest management and prescribed burning and harvesting and insect control, all those kinds of things that diminish fires.”
Legislation is currently being worked on in D.C. to help the USFS have more money and a budget where preventative measures are a bigger part of their work.