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Senate committee meets to discuss management of wildfires

Published: June 4, 2013, 10:25 am, by Ryan Handy

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee met Tuesday morning to grill U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell on the agency’s management of wildfires and how to cut down costs.

Several experts in the field of wildland fire and forest ecology gave witness statements–which you can read here (scroll down to the bottom of the page)–as well as fielded questions from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, the committee’s chairman. Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, a democrat, also serves on the committee.

It’s a long hearing but one notable fact emerged: Studies have shown that aggressive mitigation and reduction of hazardous fuels–eliminating dead trees, for instance–has helped to drastically cut the costs of suppressing wildfires.

You can watch the archived senate hearing here.

Or, watch and excerpt of the hearing featuring Sen. Udall here.