2010-04-15

Fighting forest fires in Washington state

There's nothing like a catastrophe next door to focus the mind, especially when your job is to manage public forestlands.

The environmental disaster is across the Canadian border. More than a billion dead pine trees, killed by beetle infestations, are spread across an expanse of British Columbia equal to Washington and Oregon put together.

"What's happened there is a travesty of global, not just continental, proportions: We don't want the calamity of British Columbia to make it across the border: The devastation there will last for decades," says Washington State Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark.