Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Mitigating Wildfire Risk in the Wildland Urban Interface, Part 1

Issue 1 and Volume 172.

By DENA ALI Nearly all forest ecosystems in the United States are “fire adapted” and require regular intervals of fire to remain healthy. Historically, fires occurred naturally from weather events such as lightning strikes. Cycles of fire helped prevent forests from becoming overgrown and infested with damaging insects as well as allowed the fires to burn out before becoming destructive without human intervention. However, land development has become problematic; it is one of the greatest threats to ecosystems in the United States. Years of poor urban planning and policymaking have led to a crisis for urban forests. Not only does human development destroy biodiversity, but it has also become the greatest contributor to destructive wildfires. This policy analysis explains methods for improving decades of poor policy and management decisions that have resulted in dangerous conditions among wildlands. (1-5) Images of the aftermath of the Thomas Fire in Ventura County, California,…

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