Western wildfires: Scientists know the answers, panelists say, but will citizens take action?

By Sherry Devlin
October 25, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Earth is a flammable planet. It’s been that way for 320 million years, since vegetation first took hold on the land. “So fire is this natural phenomenon,” said Phil Higuera. “But when it interacts with humans, it is truly a disaster.” Thus the eight experts on everything from insurance to incident command who gathered Tuesday night in Missoula to reflect on the 2017 wildfire season – and on how, after 320 million years, humans can learn to live with fire. Higuera, a fire ecologist at the University of Montana, said science is a great tool, but the conversation really has to be about human values.

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