“Era of Megafires” at World Forestry Center, April 11

Paul Hessburg speaking from a stage in front of projectors displaying images of a pine cone in a forest

PORTLAND, Ore. — March 15, 2018. — The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station will bring a 60-minute, live multimedia presentation, “Era of Megafires,” to the World Forestry Center, in Portland, Ore. April 11, at 6 p.m.

The presentation is designed to educate and inform audiences across the West so they may better discuss how to find solutions to the risks that wildfires pose to their communities.

The number of large, severe wildfires has been increasing in the last decade. Megafires are wildfires that burn more than 100,000 acres and may be destructive to human communities, wildlife habitat, and natural resources. To convey the conditions that lead to megafires and how they might be managed or mitigated, Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist with PNW Research Station, partnered with North 40 Productions and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center to produce this presentation.

The presentation is intended to stimulate discussions of how current science relates to community experiences with wildfire. “Era of Megafires” explains how current fire conditions were inadvertently created, and it describes megafires as a core social issue with ecological explanations. Throughout the presentation, tools are identified for land managers and homeowners, which if applied strategically, can reduce the future severity and impacts of wildfires.

“A future without wildfire isn’t an option,” Hessburg says. “The good news is that we have tools that give us choices about how to better co-exist with fire and smoke. Do we want fire in large indiscriminate doses, or in small doses that benefit the forest and reduce risks to communities?”

To register for the event:

Registration is required. To RSVP, visit https://www.pdxcityclub.org/calendar/?eid=8572.

The presentation is co-hosted by City Club of Portland, The Nature Conservancy, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, North 40 Productions, and the World Forestry Center.

Presenter:

Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist based at the USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Research Station’s Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Wenatchee, Wash.

Panelists:

Kirsten Aird, Cross Agency Systems Manager for the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section in the Oregon Public Health Division

John Stromberg, mayor of Ashland, Ore.

Ryan Huago, senior forest ecologist for The Nature Conservancy’s Oregon chapter.

Moderator:

Lisa Gaines, director of the Institute for Natural Resources (INR), headquartered at Oregon State University.

The Pacific Northwest Research Station—headquartered in Portland, Ore.—generates and communicates scientific knowledge that helps people make informed choices about natural resources and the environment. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and about 300 employees. Learn more online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw.

Text reads

The “Era of Megafires” presentation April 11, 6 p.m. at World Forestry Center in Portland, Ore. will feature a panel led by Dr. Paul Hessburg, USDA Forest Service – Pacific Northwest Research Station.

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