University of New Mexico biology dept works to prevent wildfires

By Tom Hanlon
UNM Daily Lobo
October 29, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Matthew Hurteau

While California begins to repair the devastation wrought by its extreme wildfires, fire scientists are researching ways to prevent such destruction to human life and property in the future. The University of New Mexico’s biology department conducted a study designed to help California learn new fire management techniques. Matthew Hurteau, an associate professor for the biology department and coauthor for the study, said regular, smaller, controlled forest fires are key in preventing fires of the magnitude seen in California in recent months. “One of the things that has been a focus of a considerable amount of past research — and since then, implementation by forest management agencies — is this idea that we need to restore regular surface fire to these forests as a way to reduce the risk of these big hot wildfires,” Hurteau said.

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