Wildfire is an ever-present reality for many communities in the Western United States. As the West’s fires burn longer and hotter, some politicians have taken to scapegoating the region’s public lands, alleging that wildfire is worse on U.S. public lands than state-owned lands. Their claim, according to a new analysis of wildfire risk in the West, is entirely untrue. It’s time for public officials to abandon their baseless rhetoric and engage in pragmatic conversations and policy development to protect Western communities from wildfire risks.
To that end, the Center for Western Priorities has released a first-of-its-kind analysis of wildfire data comparing the risk of wildfire on U.S. public lands versus state-owned lands.