Ground Truth: Briefly

Forest Service Completes Prescribed Fire Review

After the Forest Service ignited a prescribed fire that became the largest wildfire in New Mexico history, Chief Randy Moore ordered a national review of the agency’s prescribed fire program. Published this fall, the review identifies 52 recommendations.

Seven recommendations are for immediate implementation — mostly bureaucratic requirements for additional approvals, more oversight, and increased internal communication. The review calls for nine recommendations to be implemented within six months and the remaining recommendations to be implemented in the longer term.

Among the recommendations are additional training in the use of fire, especially in the drought-prone West, and placing more emphasis on evaluating the effects of climate change during environmental reviews.

The review also calls for a more streamlined environmental review process, including exemptions from Clean Air Act requirements in certain areas.

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