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Government Shutdown Halts Controlled Burns

The government shutdown is having an alarming impact to wildfire danger in California.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 11:47 AM

CALIFORNIA - The government shutdown is having an alarming impact to wildfire danger in California.

Federal firefighters cannot conduct control burns due to the shutdown.

The U.S. Forest Service says right now is an important time to do the burning, but their staffing is so limited that they can't get it done.

This is happening despite President Trump's executive order calling for more controlled burns on federal land.

"There's no funding to support that work to happen right now, no government employees to do that work," said Don Hawkins, a geography professor at Chico State. "There's a big irony there I think." 

By May, it will be too late into the year to safely do the burns, so as the shutdown continues, the window to get the preventative work done is getting smaller and smaller.

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