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Wildland Fire: Wildfire mitigation and protection: Which expenses make the most sense?

Event Details:

Wednesday, January 12, 2022
12:15pm - 1:15pm PST



Wildfire mitigation and protection: Which expenses make the most sense?
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Michael Wara
Climate and Energy Policy Program, Stanford Woods Institute

Investments in reducing the consequences of wildfire are occurring at an unprecedented rate, especially in California. I will review the current status of investments by private parties, local and state government, and the federal government in reducing ignitions, reducing the intensity of wildfire once ignitions occur, and in suppression of wildfires. Despite large increases in expenditures that aim to reduce the intensity of wildfire, budgets for ignition prevention and suppression still dominate. If we accept the proposition that many California ecosystems need to burn in order to maintain ecosystem function and minimize the chance of catastrophic fire, then these spending priorities need to evolve to support "good" fire rather than just deferring when "bad" fire will occur, potentially worsening it when it finally does. I will discuss actions in California and at the federal level to align spending with our new and evolving understanding of the science of wildfire in a changing climate.

For seminar information, please contact Derek Fong at

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