State considers controlled burns for forests

July 21, 2008 6:24:05 PM PDT
California may soon take more aggressive action to reduce the threat if wildfires and the greenhouse gas emissions they cause.

The state's forestry management board is considering a forest thinning plan that could include setting controlled burns.

Controlled burns are an effective way to keep fuels down and were used by Native Americans long before Europeans arrived, according to forestry officials.

"By doing the smaller, less intensive burns, they basically avoided these large-scale events that emit far more carbon," Board of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesperson George Gentry said.

Officials are also looking for ways to meet state mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Another idea is to use wood chips from forest thinning to make biomass fuels, which produce less carbon than fossil fuels.


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