I am nervous about our wildfire potential this summer with our current drought conditions and record-setting summer temperatures. Bio-climatologist Park Williams recently discussed the interplay among carbon, heat, water, temperature, soil, sunlight, air currents, drought and vegetation. He stated, “climate change is reshaping the landscape across the globe.”
“One of the biggest impacts of drought is fire,” Williams explained. “In the western United States, droughts are causing larger and larger fires. ... Health, safety and assets are put at risk. ... By warming temperatures, we are pushing some parts of the planet into record-breaking drought.”
In 2017, the U.S. Forest Service spent $2.4 billion battling wildfires. State and federal firefighting costs soared to record levels as wildfires scorched more than 9.5 million acres across the country, continuing a trend that is playing havoc with the U.S. Forest Service budget – “with no end in sight.”
I ask Rep. Scott Tipton to publicly acknowledge that the dangers of climate change are real and present in your district. Winter tourism, public health, agriculture, extreme weather, wildfires and business are impacted by this growing threat. Please act now to mitigate current and future losses. The cost of doing nothing now to address climate change has a rising price tag to the American people well after you leave office.