Wildfire Management in the West
Throughout the last decade, wildfires have overwhelmed the American West. From 2009 – 2019, there was an average of 67,000 wildfires annually which burned an average of 7.0 million acres, primarily in Western states. This year, several Western states have introduced legislation to increase wildfire management efforts:
- S.B.1514 – Requires State Forestry Department to establish demonstration projects for reducing wildfire risk on forestlands and rangelands.
- S.B.1536 – Requires electric companies to operate in compliance with risk-based wildfire protection plan acknowledged by Public Utility Commission.
- S.B.1516 – Creates a program for periodic review and modernization of State Forestry Department structure and programs.
- H.B. 2413 – Increases funding for wildfire preparedness and prevention.
- HB20-1057 – Lowers the self-financing requirement for the Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program from 50% to 25%.
- HB20-1004 – Establishes the wildfire mitigation resources and best practices grant program.