Commonwealth Policy Center

California is facing another deadly round of forest fires, and they seem to be increasing. According to National Geographic, California’s landscape has been charred by fire eight times higher today than in the 1970s. Some are quick to blame global climate change. But according to former California legislator Chuck DeVore, the problem has been poor forest management. Devore points to a 2006 report by the Western Governors’ Association that warned , “…over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires… …In the long term, leaving forests overgrown (makes them) prone to unnaturally destructive wildfires… .” The recent fires didn’t have to be so destructive. Good forestry practices and firebreaks can minimize them. Two bills addressed this last year, but it will take years to update management practices to reduce the raging fires.