Western governors discuss fires, tourism

Posted: Jul 6, 2011

Written by

NICOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press
Wildfire

At the annual meeting of the Western Governors' Association, governors discussed ways to improve forest health and reduce the threat of wildfires.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said one of her biggest fears when she became chief executive of the state two years ago was a devastating wildfire. That concern came to life this year as nearly 1 million acres of Arizona burned in wildfires that included the largest such blaze in the state's history. "One percent of the total land mass of Arizona has already burned in this fire season alone, and the season is not over yet," Brewer said.

Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Harris Sherman told governors that fires are becoming bigger and more destructive because of a combination of factors including drought, insect infestations and disease.

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