RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS



Something can be done about wildfires: example from Bend, OR

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Deschutes County, population 175,000, has become a national leader in pursuing such a comprehensive approach. It too experiences regular wildfires. Nevertheless, no house has burned here since 2003, even as fires caused enormous property damage elsewhere in the West — from exurban metropolitan areas to similarly sized counties like Chelan and Oakanogan in Washington, where fires in 2015 burned over 100 structures.

Bob Roper, a retired fire chief of Ventura County, Calif., endorses the approach in general, saying, “Everything that they’re doing can be replicated somewhere else,” even though the strategy may still be unable to completely protect against the damage that increasingly ferocious winds pose in fire season.