On Tuesday, theadministration announced a 10-year plan for treating and maintaining millions of acres of forest in the western to reduce the intensity of seasonal .
“We’re not going to stop fires,”. Secretary Tom Vilsack said at a press event in alongside Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “But what we can do is begin the process of reducing the catastrophic nature of those fires.”
According to a report, the plan, known as the wildfire crisis strategy, aims to make 50 million acres (20 million hectares) of forests more resilient and healthier to fires with treatments like pruning, thinning, or prescribed burns.
Wildfire seasons have gotten worse across thein recent years due to decades of federal policy to quickly put out instead of letting some continue burning in a controlled manner, leading to the accumulation of flammable brush.
has also led to hotter, drier conditions across the American West, making fires more frequent and the brush more flammable.
According to a report, thehas historically treated up to 2 million acres yearly in the western .
Under the new program, the Forest Service, along with theand other partners, will manage up to 20 million more acres of National Forest System land and up to 30 million more acres of additional federal, state, tribal, or private land across the west of over the next ten years.
The top priority will be parts of, , , , and , which are at the highest risk of .
The effort, which the. Department of estimated will result in thousands of new , will begin by utilizing nearly $3 billion of funding from the infrastructure law. However, according to a official, it will require an additional $50 billion to reach the 50 million-acre target.
A 2020 record revealed wildfire season destroyed more than 10 million acres in the, about half of which was Forest Service land. The Forest Service is part of the .