Laramie, Wy – Fire suppression and global warming are being blamed for the intensity and growth in western fires. The National Wildlife Federation says in its 2008 report on forest fires that the impact of global warming has been great. During a news conference, the organization's Climate Scientist Amanda Staudt says recent fire suppression has also allowed too many trees to remain setting up dangerous levels of fuel for fire to burn. She says it's also helped spur bark beetle populations. Staudt says the country needs to rethink its strategy in managing fires. It is critical to restore our forests to more natural conditions and fire cycles and to jump start new forest growth.
Staudt says there are four times as many fires in the west as compared to the 1980's.