OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Wildfire policy report

Current wildfire policy can’t adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons climate change is causing, according to a report published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Efforts to extinguish every blaze and to reduce the buildup of dead wood and forest undergrowth are becoming increasingly inadequate on their own.

Instead, the authors — a team of wildfire experts from eight universities and a nonprofit research group — urge policymakers and communities to embrace policy reform that will promote adaptation to increasing wildfire and warming.

“We know we need to learn to live with fire. And when we add climate change to the equation, all signs point to urgent shifts in policies and philosophies of fire in our natural and built landscapes,” said Meg Krawchuk, co-author on the report and an assistant professor in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. See the full press release.