Pacific Southwest Region postpones new prescribed fire ignitions on national forest lands in CaliforniaMarch 23rd, 2020
Pacific Southwest Region postpones new prescribed fire ignitions on national forest lands in California
VALLEJO, Calif., March 20, 2020. – The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region announced today that all new ignitions for prescribed fire have been postponed until further notice.
Potential smoke impacts to the public are considered in all prescribed fire and wildfire management. As always, we will work in coordination with local and state health organizations and make any necessary changes should the need arise. This decision to temporarily postpone ignitions will prevent any effects from smoke that might further worsen conditions for those who are at risk in our communities, while reducing exposure for employees who might not otherwise need to travel, and creating social distancing for resources working on the fire.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.
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