Few days ago, a report was publicized showing that 84% of all wildfires in America were caused by humans. The study looked over data from 1992 – 2012. What most people don’t know is that the General Accountability Office (GAO) of the federal government did a more detailed study between the years 2006 – 2010 and found that illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. southern border had a big hand in wildfires. Here’s more from the Washington Times:
Illegal immigrants started nearly 40 percent of human-ignited wildfires along the border between Arizona and Mexico between 2006 and 2010, according to a government report that gives new credence to claims Arizona lawmakers made earlier this year during catastrophic blazes in the Southwest.
That number may even be understated — the report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said federal land agencies often violate their own policies by not trying to investigate the origins of human-caused fires. Of the 422 human-caused fires, just 77 were investigated, and of those 30 were found to have been ignited by people illegally crossing the border.
Federal agencies have struggled for years to balance their land-management duties with the pressures of illegal immigration along the border.
Some public lands managers along the U.S.-Mexico border have told The Washington Times they spend as much as half of their annual budgets dealing with the effects of illegal immigration, from picking up trash and hauling out abandoned smuggling vehicles to rehabilitating fragile environmental areas used by illegal crossers.