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Changing snowfall makes it harder to fight fire with fire

Climate Western Wildfires
Posted at 6:32 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 08:32:38-05

DECKERS, Colo. (AP) — Thinning the dense stands of trees across millions of acres of U.S. forestlands is a central piece of the Biden administration's $50 billion plan to protect against deadly firestorms that have been exploding across western states.

But the same warming trends that worsen wildfires are challenging efforts to guard against them.

In Colorado, climate change means snow is not always on the ground when needed so that crews can safely burn off debris piles and vegetation to help keep future wildfires from becoming catastrophic.

Snow cover now disappears about two weeks earlier on average across the U.S. than it did 50 years ago.