US forest service chief says hotter, drier conditions mean wildfire season lasts two months longer than it did 40 years ago
4 June 2013 - America's wildfire season lasts two months longer than it did 40 years ago and burns up twice as much land as it did in those earlier days because of the hotter, drier conditions produced by climate change, the country's forest service chief told Congress on Tuesday.
But the forest service was forced to make sharp cuts to fire prevention programmes, and reduce the numbers of fire-fighters and engines because of budget pressures, Thomas Tidwell, the chief of the United States Forest Service, told the Senate committee on energy and natural resources. read more>>>
4 June 2013 - As dry conditions set the stage for another difficult fire season, the Forest Service said Tuesday it will hire 500 fewer firefighters than last year because of automatic spending cuts imposed by Congress.
The agency will still be able to fight wildfires across the West in spite of the force reduction of about 5 percent, Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell said, in part because three new air tankers are being put into service, including one being used to combat a massive wildfire in southern California. Four more planes sought by the Forest Service have been delayed because of a protest by a losing bidder. read more>>>