Private forest landowners support responsible, science-driven methods for preventing and reducing catastrophic wildfire.
For additional details on a holistic approach to maintaining optimal forest health and reducing catastrophic wildfire, please visit healthyforestfacts.org.
Forest fires are natural, but catastrophic wildfire shouldn’t be the “new normal.” The forests of Washington state are vital to us in terms of the role they play in our economy and our environment.
While the natural cycle of fire can be beneficial in keeping fuel levels low in healthy forests, when blazes break out in unhealthy forests, we have all seen the magnitude of unnatural destruction that can occur.
We don’t have to accept catastrophic wildfires as the “new normal.”
The good news is that we can do better.
Here are the four principles for improving forest health.
- Fuel reduction -- Strategic thinning and clearing away dangerous amounts of dry brush, followed by controlled burns, can drastically improve the health of forestland and reduce the risk of catastrophic fire.
- Early suppression -- Fires are a part of nature; they can't and shouldn't be eliminated, but when the resources are ready and able to attack them quickly they can be reduced in size and severity.
- Prevention saves property, habitat and lives -- Applying preventive measures on state, private and federally managed land encourages healthy forest conditions that help prevent runaway fires.
- Post-fire environmental recovery is key -- By getting to work as soon as possible after fires, science tells us that we can retain the economic value of burned timber and do critical work to control soil erosion that can harm water quality, fish habitat, and create increased risk of landslides.