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Coronavirus forces new approaches to fighting wildfires

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 April 09, 2020 8:11 AM April 09, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

By REBECCA BOONE
Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - They are two disasters that require opposite responses: To save lives and reduce the spread of COVID-19, people are being told to remain isolated. But in a wildfire, thousands of firefighters will be summoned to work in close quarters for weeks. That’s requiring the U.S. Forest Service and others to change strategies. In light of the “unprecedented challenge” of the pandemic,  Forest Service Chief Victoria Christiansen says resources will be used only when there is a reasonable expectation of success in protecting life and critical property and infrastructure. Wildfires have already broken out in Texas and Florida, and agencies are scrambling to finish plans for a new approach.

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