Get proactive on climate change

To the editor,

I appreciate Rep. Tipton’s recent letter “Key takeaways from the 416 Fire,” highlighting steps we can take to mitigate future wildfire risk, stating “We need to be proactive, not reactive” and “We can do more to prevent wildfires from occurring in the future.” I couldn’t agree more.

While past forest fire suppression has increased wildfire threat, so has a warming climate. The Forest Service website/Climate Change forecasts a bleak future for the Southwest with higher temperatures, less snow and an expected decrease in precipitation. They state, “The effects of climate change include more frequent wildfires that burn larger areas.”

Wildfires and climate change are bipartisan issues affecting us all. I encourage Tipton to take the recommendation of the Forest Service – “Use alternative energy: By reducing the use of fossil fuels, fewer greenhouse gasses are released into the atmosphere.” By joining the Climate Solutions Caucus in the House, Rep. Tipton could make sure that any legislation that moves forward on climate solutions would include representation from Southwest Colorado. Let’s be proactive, not reactive about climate change, and reduce the severity of our future drought and wildfire risks.

– Tim Thomas, Durango