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Recreating forests of the past isn’t enough to fix our wildfire problems

Author(s): Stephen Pyne
Year Published: 2016

There is general agreement that America’s landscapes, certainly its wildlands, are out of whack with their fires. Wildfires are bigger, hotter, more savage and more expensive than in the past. There is wide agreement, too, that America’s deeper fire problem is not that malignant megafires are crashing into our communities. Instead, it’s that we’ve lost the older benign versions of fire that once washed over and benefited our ecosystems. Surely, the thinking goes, restoring fire’s former regimes would quell the outbursts and bolster forests’ ecological resilience to multiple threats. But active restoration has proved trickier, more controversial, and more limited than advocates assumed. It works, but not everywhere, and not everyone wants it.

Citation: Pyne S. 2016. Recreating forests of the past isn’t enough to fix our wildfire problems. The Conversation May 26, 2016. online article, 1 p.
Topic(s): Fire Communication & Education, Public Perspectives of Fire Management, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 16310
Record updated: Dec 20, 2017