Climate and wildfires in western North America: a case for proactive management

Much attention has been given to the rise of western wildfires under climate change. In this talk, we will explore what fuels wildfires in western North America  and proactive management strategies to mitigate their impacts to forests and communities. In addition to fire weather, topography and the combustible biomass of dead and living vegetation have large impacts on how wildfires start and contagiously spread. We will conclude with a discussion on the range of science-based adaptive management strategies to make forests more resilient to climate change and wildfires and how these can be scaled up to make a difference.

About the Speaker

Dr. Prichard standing in a forest in a black and white photo
Dr. Susan Prichard
Research Scientist

Susan Prichard is a fire ecologist and has worked as a research scientist for the past 20 years at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Her main interests are in the effects of fire and other disturbances on forest dynamics, climate change on forest ecosystems, and fuel treatment options to mitigate fire severity and smoke impacts in fire-prone forests. She lives full-time in the Methow Valley near Winthrop, Washington. Having lived through record-setting wildfire seasons, she is focused on applied research questions that help to inform adaptive management under climate change.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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