It’s been a rough wildfire season for Utah.
One of the hottest and driest summers on record turned the state into a tinderbox. The Bald Mountain and Pole Creek fires burned nearly 160 square miles alone. Northern Utah spent much of the season socked in by smoke blowing in from other Western states.
That means there’s a lot of talk about finding a way to prevent the fallout of big fires, with some policymakers zeroing in on logging as the solution.
“I would begin with a place where I think a dollar has the biggest impact,” said Senate hopeful Mitt Romney at a late-August roundtable arranged by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop. “That’s reducing fuel load. That means thinning forests, being able to establish ... contracts with sawmills and so forth. We’ve lost sawmills because they don’t have a reliable supply of timber.”
Romney reiterated this platform on his campaign website, calling for “substantially more and consistent logging” as one of his main strategies to prevent wildfires in the state.