Nearly a third of southern Sierra forests killed by drought and wildfire in last decade was protected
The federal government is finally taking on the challenge of saving northern-hemmed California from the twin forces of climate change and wildfire by working with community members across the state.
In the first climate-led disaster preparedness summit held since the 2015 fire season, Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. is scheduled to join officials from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on June 17 in Santa Rosa, Calif. A two-day retreat focused on fire was held June 9 in Sonoma County, where officials met with representatives from more than two dozen communities affected by fire.
Last year, more than 14,000 fires burned in California and killed eight people, destroyed more than 4,500 homes and damaged 25% of the state’s forests.
Anchored by redwood and fir forests, which are highly flammable, the two forces collided on Oct. 2017, when a series of extremely dry conditions and powerful winds combined to ignite and then spread wildfire throughout the Sierra Nevada. Wildfires have burned more than 2.2 million acres since their arrival.
In response to the fires and the increasingly critical need for more timber to restore and replenish California’s forests, the federal government, along with eight state agencies, agreed to launch an unprecedented collaboration with the public aimed at improving understanding of the risks and resilience of forest lands and ways to help firefighting and emergency managers better respond to these risks.
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