Prior to 2020, the largest number of acres burned by wildfire in California was 1.3M. Compare that to the 4M acres wiped out by fire this year. What’s more, forest fires are spreading much more quickly and releasing more heat—which leads to last-minute evacuations, a dramatic increase of smoke in the air, and the phenomenon of fire tornados.
Daniel Duane is the surfer, naturalist, and author behind this month’s WIRED cover story, ‘The West’s Infernos Are Melting Our Sense of How Fire Works.’ On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Daniel explains why the 2020 fire season is so remarkable and how an accumulating fuel bed on the forest floor contributes to the intensity and severity of the wildfires. He offers insight on indigenous fire management, describing when the anti-burning culture took hold in America and how political pressures make it impossible for our government agencies to manage forests well.
Daniel goes on to introduce us to the terrifying phenomenon of a fire tornado, sharing how forest management practices and climate change are both to blame for the increasingly unpredictable, record-breaking wildfires we experience. Listen in for Daniel’s take on what kind of management practices we need to decrease our risk and find out how a pro-development, YIMBY movement could prevent destructive forest fires in the future.
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‘The West’s Infernos Are Melting Our Sense of How Fire Works’ in WIRED
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Books by Daniel Duane
Daniel at WIRED
Daniel at Outside Magazine
US Forest Service
Charles C. Mann on Reversing Climate Change S2EP15
M. Kat Anderson
Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson
University of California Forestry Department
The Sagehen Experimental Forest
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