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Call for more funding to tackle wildfire problem in US

More federal funding is needed to help prevent wildfires in America, officials were told - with experts warning current policies have left forests "explosive".

Wildfires have devastated western US states Credit: Reuters

It comes after dozens of blazes tore through western US states, torching 1.7 million acres (685,000 hectares) of land.

Fire experts addressed a meeting of the US Senate's energy committee in Seattle, Washington, which in recent weeks has seen the largest cluster of deadly fires on record.

Western Washington University's chairman of environmental studies, Michael Medler, told the meeting that increasing use of controlled burns and creating greater barriers between developments and forests were key to cutting the risk of it happening again in future.

To put it bluntly, the last century of fire policies have left our forests explosive.

– Michael Medler, Western Washington University

Thousands of firefighters are still battling more than 60 large fires.

Thirteen have been killed on duty so far this year.

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