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Federal Cuts Mean Fewer Resources This Wildfire Season

Wildfire in South Alpine, April 2, 2013

Federal budget cuts mean fewer resources to fight wildfires this summer, according to the U.S. secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior.  For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports on what that could mean in Texas.Years of drought and fire have reduced fire-susceptible vegetation in Texas.  The National Interagency Fire Center accesses that Texas is not expected to be at high risk for wildfires this year.

“That was part of the reason why some of the fire activity this past winter spring was down from last year,” Tom Spencer head of predictive services with the Texas Forest Service, tells StateImpact Texas.

As a result of sequestration, fire service resources are pared down and focused in along west coast and in the Rocky Mountains, where the Forest Service expects the most fires.

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack,  says Texas will have about 500 fewer firefighters at the Forest Service this year than it would otherwise have.

Though fire season is not expected to be high risk this year, it all depends a lot on how much Texas remains in drought through the summer months, according to the Texas Wildfire Service.