Portland, Ore. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) invites members of the public who are interested in learning about a proposal to construct a system of fuel breaks to enhance the ability of wildland firefighters to control rangeland wildfires.
The upcoming meetings will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Burns and Lakeview, Oregon and in Spokane, Washington.
July 8: Harney County Community Center, 478 N Broadway Ave., Burns, OR 97720
July 10: Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center, 1100 N. Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley, WA 99037
July 11: BLM Lakeview District Office, 1301 South G Street, Lakeview, OR 97630
The BLM released the Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Fuel Breaks in the Great Basin for a 45-day public comment period on Friday, June 21. This draft Programmatic EIS analyzes a system of up to 11,000 miles of strategically placed fuel breaks to control wildfires within a 223 million-acre area that includes portions of Idaho, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Utah.
Large, unbroken swaths of grasses, brush and other vegetation have provided a continuous supply of fuel for the recent catastrophic range land wildfires that have burned across the Great Basin states. The concept behind fuel breaks is to break up or fragment continuous fuels by reducing vegetation in key locations. When a wildfire burns into a fuel break, the flame lengths decrease and its progress slows, making it safer and easier for firefighters to control. The fuel breaks would be strategically placed along roads and rights-of-way on BLM-administered lands.
The BLM is seeking public input to ensure that all aspects of developing a system of fuel breaks are analyzed. The BLM will accept written comments on the Draft Programmatic EIS and will hold a series of public meetings to gather public comment. An electronic copy of the Draft Programmatic EIS and associated documents is available on the BLM Land Use Planning and NEPA register at https://go.usa.gov/xnQcG.
For comments to be considered, they must be received by the BLM no later than midnight MST on August 5, 2019. Additional information and a complete public meeting schedule is available at https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-analyzes-11000-miles-fuel-breaks-great-basin-combat-wildfires
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.