“There is no future without lots of fire and lots of smoke…until we, the owners of public land make it our high priority to do something about the situation.”
For our last day of promoting Dr. Paul Hessburg’s TED talk “Why wildfires have gotten worse-and what we can do about it” for the launch of our Wildfire Ecology Education campaign and the kick-off of Wildfire Awareness Month, we go over the what we, as public landowners, can do to change the course of increasing wildfires. When we began fire suppression efforts, we lost the patchwork that once worked to keep wildfires small. Ironically, too little fire in the past century has put us on the path of too much. How do we get just the right amount of fire? Dr. Hessburg describes using prescribed burning and letting wildfires burn when appropriate to restore the patchwork. In this way, we can reduce fuels and insert open areas back into our forests so that when wildfires do burn, their spread is naturally slowed. But Dr. Hessburg goes on to warn that there is little social acceptance of prescribed burning and managed wildfires.
Our goal with this Wildfire Ecology Education campaign is to keep you informed because for those of us who love our vast western public lands and value having healthy and diverse forests, we need to speak up in favor of fixing our patchwork. Watch for more upcoming information over the next months on wildfire ecology and how you can help prevent human-caused ignitions.