I try and set aside a few minutes each Friday to read trade articles and email that’s piled up during the week, and when I got to that place on my calendar today a piece from a colleague was calling my name. That article was from authors Rachel Cleetus and Kranti Mulak with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Their recently released report, “Playing with Fire – How Climate Change and Development Patterns are Contributing to the Soaring Costs of Western Wildfires” was screaming for me to open it. The report strives to explain why western wildfires are worsening; why current policies and practices may be increasing risks and costs; and the impacts and recommendations on limiting costs. It also includes case studies from California, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico; and the issues occurring in those states.
They outline steps that need to be taken that include: building resilience in communities on the frontlines of risk, reducing the expansion of development near fire-prone areas and cutting the emissions fueling climate change; all of which will be crucial to limiting the impacts of wildfires on people and forests.
There's also a lot of great data, maps, photos and charts that you'll virtually dog-ear to include in future PowerPoints. So when you’re carving out time for some work related reading, add this one to your list!