An overlooked issue in the U.S causes harm to the Northwestern United States

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Eric Bean, Staff Writer

  Massive forest fires sparked in late July and have been spreading all over the west coast since.

  This tragic event began on some time between July 20-26 in Washington because of its currently dry and hot conditions. Meteorologists say that this summer for the west coast was unusually hot for such a rainy region. The lack of rain has caused the air pressure to change, causing all the dry foliage to be more sustainable to catching fire. The fire danger level (specifically in Washington) is so high that their Governor, Jay Inslee, has declared a state of emergency. This means the Federal Emergency Management Agency gets a team ready to help assist others and respond to such incidents. This is a major issue that is currently being overlooked by many because of the serious issues in the south caused by Hurricane Irma and Harvey.

  In an interview with Logan Johnson, a Meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Seattle Office, he stated “If you look outside, you may just think it’s just clouds, it’s nothing like we’ve observed in a long time.”

  Not only have these massive forest fires caused issues towards the wildlife, but they have also caused lots of financial issues in the northwestern states. The Forest Service has spent a record-breaking two billion dollars battling these forest fires all over the west coast.

  The Agricultural Secretary of the Northwest, Sonny Perdue, stated, “Officials have to end up hoarding all of the money that is intended for fire prevention , because we’re afraid we’re going to have to use it to actually fight fires.”

  

 

  This large emphasis on fire fighting has caused all of the money for other prevention services to be redirected into fighting these fires, which is a self-defeating cycle. The states aren’t the only thing losing money though; so far, 500 houses have burned down in the Washington/Oregon area alone.

  In total, as of Sept. 15, 13,000 square miles of forest have burned down, and smoke and ashes cover major cities like clouds. These poor people now have less wildlife to observe, less houses, and no clear skies to look at.