OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Rethinking 'Smoky Bear'

A new paper published in a recent issue of the journal Ecological Applications by Matthew Reilly, while he was a scientist at Oregon State University, says the best way to avoid catastrophic fires may be to allow low- and moderate-severity fires to just burn. "There's a push for restoration activities such as thinning and prescribed fire to make the forests more resilient," Reilly says. "And there has been some really good work done on the ground (on such efforts), but it's a drop in the bucket. It's hardly enough."