Sunday, April 19, 2015

It's a Trade-Off

Carlton Complex Fire, July 2014. Source: Oregon Live
Across the West, land managers use low intensity, prescribed fire to treat landscapes to improve forest health and decrease fuel loads that can carry high intensity fire during a wildfire.  The value of these efforts is recognized widely by federal, state, tribal and local partners.  Communities though, have been slower to accept the practice.  That culture is beginning to change.  Through a variety of educational and learning opportunities, communities are accepting some smoke in the air from prescribed fires knowing that these treatments significantly reduce the risk of more intense, smokier, destructive wildfires that can occur in forested areas that have not been treated.  It's a trade-off.   

For more information about prescribed fire and how land managers pick the right days and weather patterns to reduce smoke impacts visit the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils.  For more information about engaging communities to accept and prepare for wildfire risk visit Fire Adapted Communities.

Here's an article about preparing around homes and in forests in Washington State. 

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