CALIFORNIA CANNOT FIREFIGHT ITS WAY OUT OF THE CURRENT FOREST HEALTH CRISIS1
Written by Darcy Brown
Concern is growing over the impacts of catastrophic wildfire in California. Wildfires have increased in size and intensity over the last two decades.2 The 2020 fire season saw five of the six largest incidents in recorded state history burning simultaneously.3 The state government’s response to the ever-increasing threat has been an ever-increasing budget for fire suppression activities.4Frustratingly, it seems that we can’t firefight our way out of this crisis.5
This article provides an overview of recent forest health research, critiques the latest state initiative for streamlining restoration permitting and approval, and offers suggestions for advocates and policymakers who want to see improved ecological resilience in state and private forests in California.
FORESTS ARE THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM