Burning the West to save it: Why one solution to our raging wildfires can’t gain traction

Each summer as temperatures soar and Washington’s forests and grasses dry out, the state’s wildfire experts hold their breath, hoping that a devastating megafire won’t tear through valuable timber or grazing lands, scorch beloved wilderness or destroy lives and property.

Washington and the rest of the West have battled ever-growing record fire seasons over the past decade. In 2020, more than 700,000 acres burned across Washington state and nearly 200 structures were destroyed — one of the worst fire seasons on record.

Washington can expect many more seasons like this.


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