An Oregon lawmaker has lashed out at restrictions on logging, blaming them for the intensity of wildfires plaguing much of the U.S. West.
Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr. represents Grants Pass, an area where mills have closed. The Republican said in a letter that the inability to manage forest resources due to environmental concerns is threatening the safety of Oregonians.
In the letter to the chair of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Baertschiger called for a workgroup to be created to revamp policy.
John Bailey, an Oregon State University professor and forestry expert, says a lack of forest management and thinning of forests have created explosive fire seasons.
As of Thursday morning, the Eagle Creek Fire burning in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge had grown to more than 33,382 acres and is only 5 percent contained.
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