Wildfire and Forest Species’ Adaptations – @NREL_EcoPress

Check out the latest guest blog post by two of our ecologists, Sarah Bisbing and Kristen Pelz. Sarah and Kristen teamed up with the editors at NREL’s EcoPress blog to compose an article on forest species’ adaptations to wildfire.

http://nrelscience.org/2012/07/01/creative-destruction-why-the-same-fires-that-devastate-our-communities-breathe-life-into-our-forests/

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2 thoughts on “Wildfire and Forest Species’ Adaptations – @NREL_EcoPress

  1. Interesting post! I know that there are flood plain maps that are used when deciding where to build homes, businesses, etc., and that from these maps people know the likelihood of a flood occurring in that location (and therefore they understand the necessity of flood insurance/flood preparation). I know that there are wildfire hazard maps for each county, but do you know if home/business owners are required to look at one when building/purchasing a property? Do you think that having such a map would make home/business owners more aware of fire danger, and encourage them to become more knowledgeable as to how to prepare for a widlfire?

    • Good points, Kelly. There are fuel hazard maps for both Larimer County and Arapahoe-Roosevelt NF. Currently, there really aren’t many restrictions in place. Issues seem to arise only during wildfire, when wildland firefighters refuse to protect structures that do not have defensible space. Some counties, including a few in Montana, have stricter home insurance policies – homeowners are refused insurance or given much lower coverage for building in dense forest.

      In terms of homeowners themselves, studies show that a surprising number do not think about the possibility of wildfire (i.e. Champ et al, 2010). I would love to say that education is key, but I think it needs to be done in the right way. Just because we’re talking, doesn’t mean people are listening or responding.

      Great conversation, Kel!

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