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Lee urges better management of lands to reduce wildfires

Weber County shared this photo of firefighting efforts last summer in a wildfire near Powder Mountain.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is urging the Bureau of Land Management and the Interior Department to better manage federal lands where animals graze to reduce the dangers of wildfires.

Lee made the remarks during a hearing in Washington, D.C. this week when federal land managers testified that they’re coming up with wildfire plans for each state.

“The Bureau of Land Management manages over 1,400 separate grazing allotments in Utah, covering 22 acres of land… Rangeland fires also cause a whole lot of damage in the West each year,” Lee said.

The federal government is projected to spend more than $5 billion this year on fire suppression.

Firefighters across the country are preparing for a bad wildfire season as grass and plants that grew during the past winter, which saw record levels of snow and rain, start to dry out.