Stanford researchers explain what to expect from wildfire season

“In the long run, tackling climate change will be essential. If the world continues to warm to the levels expected with high emissions through the 21st century, it is hard to imagine successfully managing wildfire risk in California,” said Chris Field, director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. “In parallel with tackling climate change, communities can do a great deal to decrease the ladder fuels that increase the risk of catastrophic fires. Prescribed burns can be a safe and effective way to decrease fuels, especially when the accumulations are not too large. Where fuels are so dense that prescribed burns are not feasible, forest thinning is a necessary first step. In some cases, the material removed by thinning may be suitable as fuel for power generation or other uses. Many forested areas that have seen a decrease in timber harvesting activity in recent decades may provide economic opportunities from investments in fuel reduction.”

— Stanford News