“Era of Megafires” comes to Pinedale

The Western United States is in what Dr. Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist with the Pacific Northwest Research Station, calls the “Era of Megafires.” Large, severe wildfires are increasingly more common, and future without widlfire, he says, just “isn’t an option.”

“So what kind of future do we want for our forests?”

Hessburg will offer two 60-minute digital presentations to try to answer that question in Pinedale in the coming months. Sublette County United Fire, North 40 Productions, the US Forest Service, and the Sublette County Forest Collaborative is excited to bring the Era of Megafires to Sublette County.

In his multi-media presentation, Hessburg explains that over the past decade, the number of large, severe wildfires has been on the rise. These megafires are wildfires that burn more than 100,000 acres; they can destroy or severely damage human communities, wildlife habitat, and natural resources. Hessburg will cover the conditions that lead to megafires and how they might be managed or mitigated.

“The goal of this project is to share a vocabulary and increase the understanding and ability of ordinary citizens so that they can enter into local discussions and planning for a more certain future for public forest lands,” Hessburg says.

Since June 2016, the presentation has reached 86 cities and towns and more than 25,000 citizens. There is
also an “Era of Megafires” Ted Talk with over 850,000 views.

There are two chances to see Hessburg’s presentation: August 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Kendall Valley Fire Station, or September 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pinedale Public Library.

For more information and updates, visit the Era of Megafires website.

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