Indigenous communities across Canada and the United States have managed natural landscapes for millennia using fire as a tool to promote ecological diversity and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. In contrast, the primary focus of wildland fire fighting agencies had been to suppress fires as quickly as possible. Now, climate change, past fire suppression, and increased populations in wildfire-prone areas are all contributing to more frequent and severe wildfires and forcing a re-examination of management practices. A wide range of interventions - including prescribed and cultural burning – could help decrease risks in the future, but these will require proactive planning and big increases in investments in on-the-ground management.
About the Webinar
This webinar featured a panel of Stanford scholars and U.S. and Canadian experts on wildfire management who examined best-practices and shared lessons learned on traditional forest treatment, how practitioners must adapt to new climate factors public perceptions of controlled burns, and the policies and measures needed to help reduce wildfire risk. The discussion also included paths to building resiliency, particularly in communities at highest risk from wildfire and wildfire smoke.
This is the third in a series of webinars convened by the Woods Institute for the Environment to examine the relation between climate change, extreme events, and how impacts are disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable.
Rana Sarkar, Consul General of Canada, San Francisco/Silicon Valley
Amy Cardinal Christianson, Indigenous Fire Specialist, Parks Canada Agency
Alexandra Konings, Assistant Professor, Earth System Science, Stanford University
Frank Lake, Research Ecologist/PSW Tribal Liaison, U.S. Forest Service
Chris Field, Director, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
This webinar is presented in partnership with the Consulate General of Canada, San Francisco/Silicon Valley.