Tree Frog Forestry News

US Forest Service stretched to breaking point after record year for wildfires

February 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The US Forest Service has warned it is at the “tipping point” of a crisis in dealing with escalating wildfires and diseases that are ravaging America’s increasingly fragile forest ecosystems. The federal agency, which manages 193m acres (78m hectares) of forest, will plead once again for more funding from Congress, in the wake of a devastating 2015 that saw record swaths of forest engulfed in flames. A total of 10.1m acres were burned last year, a figure that is double the typical losses seen 30 years ago. During this time, the average fire season in the US has lengthened by 78 days, with scientists predicting that the amount of forest razed by fire will double by 2050. Climate change-driven drought, wildfire and invasive diseases are stretching the US Forest Service to breaking point, the agency has warned.