Wildfire projected to spread like, well, wildfire

Friday 9 Aug 2013

 
A recently published study: Global Wildland Fire Season Severity in the 21st Century, indicates that in coming decades, conventional approaches to wildfire management may no longer be effective. It appears in a Forest Ecology and Management journal special issue entitled The Mega-fire reality, published by Elsevier.

The study is a first global review that shows the extent of the increasing length of the fire season and the increasing fire weather severity. It gives a "state of the science" assessment of global fire and climate change and an indication of the strength and trajectory of change in future fire regimes.

The publication provides fire managers from countries around the world with a global picture of expected fire season severity increases. The results indicate the importance of sharing resources for increased fire protection capacity as well as the importance of early warning as a means of preventing or mitigating disaster fires.

Referring to recent disastrous fires in Australia in '09, Russia in '10 and Texas and other U.S. states in '11 as possible precursors of what is coming, the publication reinforces its underlying message that fire management is going to be greatly challenged in the future and new policy/strategy development is needed.

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