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What can be done to stop forest fires in the West? | Opinion

Fires continue to wreak havoc in the western United States more than 54,350 forest fires burn 6,802,729 acres across the region in 2021. These fires, in addition to destroying states, make affected areas more prone to future burns and other natural disasters. Utah is one of most prone to forest fires In the states, 800 to 1,000 fires a year can cost the state more than $ 12 million a year, and air pollution from forest fires in California and Oregon affects the health of residents.

Although forest fires cannot be completely extinguished, policies can be implemented to help communities better prepare for and combat forest fires and natural disasters. SmarterSafer – a coalition of environmental groups, taxpayers and insurance groups that promotes resilience to natural disasters – recently outlined policy recommendations to help address the growing challenges of forest fires and disaster mitigation.

Investing in disaster mitigation efforts at the local, state, and federal levels can reduce both the physical and fiscal costs of forest fires by not only protecting communities but also saving taxpayer dollars. In fact, according to a study by the National Institute of Civil Engineering in 2020, $ 13 in losses will be saved for every dollar spent on mitigation. In addition, there are a number of existing policy proposals that can be used to minimize the physical and financial stress of forest fires for different communities.

The creation of the Wildland Fire Commission based on the proposal of Utah Senator Mitt Romney from 2021 is a great step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

Another proposal, Senator Steve Danes, a Republican from Montana, would allow governors to enter into joint agreements with land management agencies to designate areas with the greatest risk of forest fires as fire management areas. In addition, the proposal will speed up projects to reduce hazardous fuels in fire control areas and prevent further delays in these high-priority projects by banning court injunctions.

Similarly, Danes and California Democrat Diane Feinstein introduced bipartisan bill to support firefighters in the wild. This act will require the Office of Personnel Management to create a series of vacancies for firefighters in the wild to help with recruitment and boost morale.

Additional suggestions like Disaster Mitigation and Tax Parity Act 2021introduced by Feinstein, provide tax breaks for some of these very investments and should be part of the equation.

On Friday, August 21, 2020, the Salt Lake City skyline is shrouded in forest smoke.
Spencer Hips, Deseret News

In addition to investing in the environment, there are also opportunities to implement innovative mitigation strategies to provide infrastructure and build housing in a way that reduces risk. The Built in the last act, presented by Senator Temi Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), aims to ensure that building codes are based on forward-looking climate information, including data on forest fires and other environmental trends. This bipartisan offer is a low price and a high reward that everyone should go for.

These are just some of the politicians who are desperately needed to create a safer and more sustainable society. As the West continues to fight forest fires, it is important to meet and work together on a bipartisan basis to anticipate natural disasters.

We can’t afford to wait until a fire happens. Reducing risks and investing in resilience will help save homes, businesses, taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, lives.

David Williams is president of the Non-Partisan Taxpayer Protection Alliance, based in Washington, DC. Chris Brown is the CEO of SmarterSafer.

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What can be done to stop forest fires in the West? | Opinion

Fires continue to wreak havoc in the western United States more than 54,350 forest fires burn 6,802,729 acres across the region in 2021. These fires, in addition to destroying states, make affected areas more prone to future burns and other natural disasters. Utah is one of most prone to forest fires In the states, 800 to 1,000 fires a year can cost the state more than $ 12 million a year, and air pollution from forest fires in California and Oregon affects the health of residents.

Although forest fires cannot be completely extinguished, policies can be implemented to help communities better prepare for and combat forest fires and natural disasters. SmarterSafer – a coalition of environmental groups, taxpayers and insurance groups that promotes resilience to natural disasters – recently outlined policy recommendations to help address the growing challenges of forest fires and disaster mitigation.

Investing in disaster mitigation efforts at the local, state, and federal levels can reduce both the physical and fiscal costs of forest fires by not only protecting communities but also saving taxpayer dollars. In fact, according to a study by the National Institute of Civil Engineering in 2020, $ 13 in losses will be saved for every dollar spent on mitigation. In addition, there are a number of existing policy proposals that can be used to minimize the physical and financial stress of forest fires for different communities.

The creation of the Wildland Fire Commission based on the proposal of Utah Senator Mitt Romney from 2021 is a great step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

Another proposal, Senator Steve Danes, a Republican from Montana, would allow governors to enter into joint agreements with land management agencies to designate areas with the greatest risk of forest fires as fire management areas. In addition, the proposal will speed up projects to reduce hazardous fuels in fire control areas and prevent further delays in these high-priority projects by banning court injunctions.

Similarly, Danes and California Democrat Diane Feinstein introduced bipartisan bill to support firefighters in the wild. This act will require the Office of Personnel Management to create a series of vacancies for firefighters in the wild to help with recruitment and boost morale.

Additional suggestions like Disaster Mitigation and Tax Parity Act 2021introduced by Feinstein, provide tax breaks for some of these very investments and should be part of the equation.

On Friday, August 21, 2020, the Salt Lake City skyline is shrouded in forest smoke.
Spencer Hips, Deseret News

In addition to investing in the environment, there are also opportunities to implement innovative mitigation strategies to provide infrastructure and build housing in a way that reduces risk. The Built in the last act, presented by Senator Temi Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), aims to ensure that building codes are based on forward-looking climate information, including data on forest fires and other environmental trends. This bipartisan offer is a low price and a high reward that everyone should go for.

These are just some of the politicians who are desperately needed to create a safer and more sustainable society. As the West continues to fight forest fires, it is important to meet and work together on a bipartisan basis to anticipate natural disasters.

We can’t afford to wait until a fire happens. Reducing risks and investing in resilience will help save homes, businesses, taxpayer dollars and, most importantly, lives.

David Williams is president of the Non-Partisan Taxpayer Protection Alliance, based in Washington, DC. Chris Brown is the CEO of SmarterSafer.

Reported by Source link

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