Zinke orders more aggressive approach to prevent wildfires

AP

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is directing all land managers and park superintendents to be more aggressive in cutting down small trees and underbrush to prevent wildfires.

In a memo on Tuesday, Zinke says the Trump administration will take a new approach and work proactively to prevent fires “through aggressive and scientific fuels reduction management” to save lives, homes and wildlife habitat.

Wildfires are chewing across dried-out Western forests and grassland, putting 2017 on track to be among the worst fire seasons in a decade.

Zinke says that to date, 47,700 wildfires have burned 8 millions acres across the country, with much of the devastation in California and Montana.

The Forest Service and Interior Department have spent more $2.1 billion so far this year fighting fires.