Future #1: Hot, Dry, and Out of Control

NPS WHIS Fire Management Officer (FMO)

At this point, this "Future Situation" is already a present day reality. There is no good scientific argument against Global Warming, no matter what the causal factors. We are already starting to experience lengthening fire seasons, warming global temperatures and increasingly unprecedented drought conditions. Despite advances in technology and process we in the wildland fire service continue to battle increasingly ...more »

Submitted by (@tomgarcia)

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

Direct and open communication and education about were we are, what we know and where we think we are headed both internally and externally. Fire Is....neither necessarily good or bad, not completely within our ability to control when and where desired. This needs to be understood both implicitly and explicitly. We need to be clear that fire is a very necessary part and parcel of the environment. It will happen and it will not necessarily be a complete disaster when it does. It may type convert an area it may provide its preservation. It may destroy one species habitat while benefiting another. In the simplest form fire is part of an evolutionary process. Even if we can not call it a "benefit" from an agency accounting perspective, it for better or worse will likely be the only way we will consistently experience the potential benefits of landscape scale fire moving into the future. Especially as Rx fire treatments become increasing difficult to implement. We as a culture and society will have to come to grips with this.

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

Perhaps we need to do better job of selling the fact that even with events like the Rim fire, there are still tangible benefits. Even internally we tend to view these events as complete disasters. We do a good job of quantifying and interpreting the negative impacts of these events. Perhaps if we spent equal time looking into potential benefits we may find that the overall good out weighed the negative. Keep in mind.....Fire Is......neither bad or good. It fulfills both. It just depends on perspective.


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