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By Harrison Raine
Writers on the Range 

Guest Editorial: It's time to come to the aid of wildland firefighters

 

December 9, 2020



By mid-September, there was no one left to call. The West, with its thousands of federal, state, and local fire engines and crews, had been tapped out.

Wildfires across the West had consumed the labor of all available wildland firefighters, and though there were fewer fires burning, those fires were larger and more difficult to contain. They consumed 13 million acres -- an area almost the size of West Virginia.

In the midst of the 2020 wildfire season, John Phipps, the Forest Service's deputy chief, told Congress that this "was an extraordinary year and it broke the system. The system was...



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