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California officials focus on forest management after fires

March 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California fire officials want to dramatically increase the removal of dead trees and other forest management practices to reduce fuel for wildfires and are calling on the National Guard to help with the effort.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection released a list Tuesday of 35 priority fuel reduction projects across the state over roughly 90,000 acres.

CalFire Deputy Chief Scott McLean said that’s double the acreage the agency aimed to cover in the current fiscal year.

The agency is also seeking National Guard assistance to coordinate the work. McLean said it was the first time he could recall turning to the National Guard for help with clearing trees and vegetation.

Republican President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized California’s Democratic officials for not doing a good enough job managing its forests.