Fuelbreak in California

This fuel break in the Los Padres Forest in California runs along the Santa Ynez Mountains crest.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a proposal to build fuel breaks across Idaho and five other nearby states, to make it tougher for range fires to spread. The agency has scheduled three public hearings in Idaho on the plan, which calls for creating a system of 11,000 miles of strategically placed fuel breaks to control wildfires within a 223 million-acre area that includes parts of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.

The region, known as the Great Basin, includes large, unbroken swaths of grasses and other vegetation that have allowed catastrophic rangeland wildfires to spread in recent years. The fuel breaks can be up to 300 feet wide, and involve the removal of all vegetation and/or replanting with fire-resistant plantings. You can read my full story here at idahopress.com.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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