Sustain Our Nation's Forests and Grasslands

Learning to co-exist with fire as a natural landscape process – a TedTalk

PORTLAND, Ore.The Era of Megafires, is on tour as a multimedia presentation featuring Pacific Northwest Research Station scientist Paul Hessburg, who draws on his fire and landscape ecology research and that of many colleagues in presenting ideas about how we can shift our cultural views about fire. He emphasizes learning to co-exist with fire as a natural landscape process. With over 70 live presentations already, Hessburg has reached more than 16,000 people.

The presentation describes the inadvertent creation of current conditions and identifies megafires as a social problem with ecological explanations. It is intended to increase understanding, convene key groups, and stimulate discussion that relates the science to the hosting community’s experience with wildfire and to help people respond to the increasing frequency of megafires in their area.

Era of Megafires shows how western landscapes historically displayed both stand- and landscape-level feedbacks that positively influenced the natural fire regime and that now these feedbacks operate poorly, or not at all. Throughout the presentation Hessburg identifies a broad variety of tools, which can all lead to improved wildfire conditions and options for the future. The intention is to help communities gain knowledge to address the megafires problem locally.

More events are planned; click here for tour dates.