Thursday, October 2, 2014

WA 2014 Wildfires More Destructive than Ever; EQIP Money Available for Forest Owners

The News Tribune photo
Steve McConnell, WSU Extension forester in Spokane, has a Facebook page for eastern Washington forest owners. Steve shared this article about the destructiveness of our wildfires. NRCS offers financial assistance to landowners affected by fires.

Washington state wildfires 6 times as destructive this year
Steve notes there are interesting numbers in this article. Wildfires burned 363,000 acres in Washington last year, 6 times more than normal. The state spent $100 million on firefighting, 4 times more than the $25 million budgeted. Three million acres need restoration, in particular thinning, to decrease their susceptibility to wildfire, 21 times more area than the 141,000 acres to be treated in current budget. In the last biennium, the DNR asked for $20 million for fire prevention work, 5 times more than the $4 million they received. And, the saddest figure, 353 homes destroyed in wildfires in summer 2014 wildfires.

I would add that the recent budget cutting has exacerbated this situation. The prevention money (thinning and prescribed burns to make forests less susceptible to fire) shouldn't be the first tapped to pay the budget overruns for fire suppression.

USDA NRCS Wildfire Special Initiative and Storm Damage Special Initiative offer funding for conservation practices to help recover from damage from wildfire and flood, including tree planting, and removal of trees and boulders. 

Financial help is available to forest owners statewide. The deadline for applications is October 31, 2014.

For more information on how to apply for financial assistance, contact your local NRCS field office ( or visit the “NRCS After the Fire” webpage at

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated, which means the blog owner must approve them before they appear here.