Future #3 – Resilient Landscapes

"Climate Change"

A 25 year drought cycle started in 1996. If this cycle continues as predicted, a 25 year "wet cycle" should start in 2021. This in itself will result in fewer "mega-fires". What this means for fire agencies is, the time to take advantage of current "teachable moments" from the historical fires of 2011 will start diminishing. As the climate starts to abate during the anticipated "wet cycle", it will become increasingly more difficult to persuade the public of the need to prevent and mitigate wildfire.

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What changes to strategy, organizational structure, capabilities, & infrastructure would be needed? :

Fire agencies should capitalize to the fullest extent the current memories of historic fire activity-especially the 2011 fire season, and begin mitigation planning, CWPP's, etc. now.

What information could help mitigate the risks presented by this future? :

"At Risk" communities should be prioritied, and those most "at risk" should initiate their mitigation activites as soon as possible. Whether a "wet cycle" materializes or not, this is still the best course of action.

What information could help capitalize on opportunities presented by this future? :

Once a "wet cycle" has been in place long enough for documentation, agencies could look at shifting emphasis from "response" to "mitigation", and take advantage of the "wet cycle" to implement as many mitigation projects as possible to prepare for the next "drought cycle".

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Idea No. 62