Think this is a record fire year? Given all the news coverage lately it may be surprising to that the number of fires and acres burned in the United States is actually down this year from 2017. But the intensity and nearly-year-round timing of the fires in the American West has entered a new chapter. Drought, high temperatures and winds and extensive building near forested lands is creating a volatile combination for super fires different than what we have experienced before. “We are setting new modern records and it seems like the old rules are out,” a Cal Fire official told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Scientists say climate change is creating conditions for stronger fires that are likely to occur more frequently. What role has Smokey the Bear played in creating these conditions? Is President Trump correct that thinning forests would dampen fires? What happens to people and watersheds after the fires recede from the headlines? Join us for a conversation about this infernal summer and how to manage life near forests.