Wildfire in the western US: Causes, consequences, and adaptation
Description: A panel of experts will discuss why wildfires are on the rise, the role of climate change, the predicted fate of future forests, and ways that at-risk communities can adapt. Large fires are becoming more frequent and severe across the western US. Since 1984, annual burned forest area has increased by about 1,100%. Lives, property, and livelihoods are routinely threatened and burned landscapes can be left ecologically transformed. What is causing recent trends in fire activity? What will forests of the future look like? How can modeling wildfires and forest response guide adaptation strategies? These are among the questions to be explored. Panelists will also discuss the importance of tailoring fire and forest management to the local context, considering regionally specific factors like forest type, environmental conditions, and the presence of people.
Panelists: Forest ecologist Winslow Hansen (Cary Institute), Fire ecologist Phil Higuera (University of Montana), and Natural resource sociologist Catrin Edgeley (Northern Arizona University).