Paul Hessburg advocates for local populations to take control of their fire safety plans in a era when fires are burning hotter, stronger and larger than ever. Mega Fires are an unintended consequence of decades of fire supression, leaving unnaturally large amounts of combustible fuel on forest floors. Soil profiles in North America contain a strong historical record indicating 4-10% of North American forest land burned in any given year prior to fire suppression policies.
We visited a recent site that came perilously close to burning down the city of John Day, two years ago. There he talked about the resiliency of the ecosystem to respond, and thrive, after fires. On the ground and along a small creek, new growth flourishes aided by nutrients left behind from the fire.