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U.S. agency to pay for 11,000 miles of fuel breaks in Utah, 5 other states

Great Basin-Fuel Breaks
Posted at 7:32 PM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 21:32:20-05

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has announced plans to fund 11,000 miles of strategic fuel breaks in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah in an effort to help control wildfires.

Fuel breaks are intended to create breaks in vegetation that slow a blaze’s progress and help protect firefighters, communities and natural resources.

The Oregonian reported Saturday that wildfires are becoming bigger and more frequent across the Great Basin states. Between 2009 and 2018, more than 13.5 million acres of BLM land burned in the project area. Some scientists debate the effectiveness of fuel breaks, raising questions about whether these efforts are worth funding.