The Forest Service failed to account for climate change before the specific burning in New Mexico

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When the US Forest Service began an arson in the Santa Fe National Forest in early April, the goal was to reduce the risk of a devastating fire. But the agency relied on poor weather data and failed to understand how climate change had dried up the landscape, eventually sparking a fire that would explode in The biggest fire In New Mexico’s history, the Forest Service said in a new report published Tuesday.

“Climate change is leading to conditions on Earth that we’ve never experienced before,” said Forest Service chief Randy Moore. Introduction to the 80-page report. “Fire is outperforming our models and … we need to better understand how mega-drought and climate change are affecting our actions on Earth.”

The Calve Canyon/Hermit fire, which began as two conflagrations, scorched more than 341,000 acres and ignited hundreds of homes as of Tuesday afternoon, became the latest bright spot in the debate over whether authorities should use prescribed burns — arson attacks aimed at mitigating combustible vegetation to reduce More harmful fire hazards.

Forest fires need fuel to burn. The primary way to dispose of this fuel is to set it on fire very carefully.

The reconsidering I found planning and analysis for Description of April 6 burning In accordance with the existing standards and policies of the Forest Service, and implemented in an approved manner. But the fire was ignited “under drier conditions than has been recognized.”

“Ongoing drought, limited winter rainfall and below average snowfall” and fuel buildup “all contributed to the increased risk of fire escapes,” the report said.

The report also found that many details about the weather were “overlooked or misrepresented,” and noted that some nearby automated weather stations were not operating. Also, those who lit the fire “did not turn off the ignition or extinguish the prescribed fire after clear indications of a high fire intensity and fuel reception.”

On May 20, Moore suspended all prescribed burns on national forest land for 90 days as a safety precaution due to the ongoing severe weather. But he and others insist that such arson is necessary to avoid catastrophic wildfires, and that the vast majority of them do not cause problems.

“Bungalfires threaten communities more than ever. A prescribed fire must remain a tool in our toolbox to fight it,” Moore said. “Unfortunately, the effects of climate change are narrowing the windows where this tool can be used safely.”

Authorities “can no longer manage fires according to calendar date” and should incorporate climate data more comprehensively into their models, said Timothy Engelsby, United Firefighters’ Executive Director for Safety, Ethics and the Environment. He also said that firefighters need to intensify the burns prescribed to them when weather conditions are favourable. He warned that stopping prescribed burns for three months could have consequences later this summer.

“Areas that were supposed to burn under controlled conditions will burn under severe conditions,” he said.

One month later, the biggest fire in New Mexico ever sparked anger and despair

In New Mexico, it was a lot Angry The authorities set the fire, which eventually led to the displacement of thousands of people from their homes.

Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez (DN.M.) said the report pointed to several errors by the Forest Service.

“The failures of the Forest Service have devastated many wealthy and proud communities in New Mexico,” she said in a statement. according to To The Associated Press. “Rain may cause a second flood disaster. As the report notes, the Forest Service has put many homes, communities, lives, historical sites and watersheds at risk.”

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