There is no shortage of news coverage, research, publications, and educational programming available to address the issue of wildfires in the dry forests of eastern Washington and the rest of the interior Pacific Northwest. These areas have been hit hard by wildfires due to decades of fire suppression and require a massive forest restoration effort to reduce fuel loads. But what about fires in the wet forests of western Washington? How do wildfire behavior and forest fire ecology differ in this region? How does a changing climate impact the risk of catastrophic fires and what does this mean for how we manage forests and protect homes here?
Many believe that fire is simply not a concern west of the Cascades. While it’s true that greater rainfall makes these forests more fire-resilient, it also inherently means greater fuel loads will be available when fires do occur. As the climate continues to change and we experience hotter summers and longer dry periods, catastrophic wildfires may become a more pressing concern on the west side. While this is an alarming thought, learning more about how these fires behave is the first step to being prepared.
Log in to this webinar to hear Daniel Donato (WADNR/UW) discuss the current science on western Washington wildfires followed by Ashley Blazina (WADNR), who will talk about the best practices for protecting your home.