Adapting to the era of megafires- Summit on catastrophic fire in OR and beyond
Presentations will be April 14, 21, and 28 and May 5 and 12 at 10 am PDT.
Wildfire ravaged much of the western United States in 2020. Towns were destroyed, homes and businesses evacuated, forests incinerated, and lives lost. In Oregon, vast swaths of rural communities like Talent and Detroit were devastated by sweeping megafires. But every Oregonian was impacted by widespread evacuations, life-threatening smoke, damage to vineyards and other crops, and staggering costs siphoning critical tax dollars away from other essential public services. As with all matters related to climate change, the greatest impacts were on our most vulnerable communities: low-income families, communities of color, the sick, the elderly, and the young. These megafires also accelerated their climate effects, with carbon emissions from wildfires in the U.S. alone increasing 30% over the previous year. The 2020 season was the latest record-breaking year in the West, continuing a 20-year trend that is only worsening. But there is hope. As wildfire impacts broaden, so has the coalition of parties seeking solutions. Small town mayors and tribal leaders, experts in public health and social justice, CEOs and scientists are speaking up. World Forestry Center is convening representatives from this broadening coalition in a five-part virtual summit focused on the Oregon example.