Monday, July 25, 2011

Researchers from 2 universities to study wildfires

Researchers at the University of Idaho and Washington State University plan to use a $1.2 million grant from NASA to study how extreme wildfires affect people and the environment, and how to make communities safer. "The Forest Service spends more than half of its total budget fighting fires, and a lot of the reason for that expenditure is the risk to human communities," said Matt Carroll, a professor in the WSU Department of Natural Resource Sciences. "If we can make these communities more fire adapted, not only would it help the communities it would save huge amounts of money." He said fighting large fires is becoming more difficult as people continue moving into forested areas. Researchers said the trend of large-scale fires in the western United States is likely to continue as the climate warms and people move into forested areas. Researchers plan to examine how those large fires change vegetation, water quality and wildlife habitat. They will also examine how communities respond to fires, partly by looking at past fires...more

The money would be better spent on researching management techniques to prevent the large, hot fires.

1 comment:

J.R. ABSHER said...

Excellent point about the grant money, Frank. All these researchers need to do is to listen to Andy Groseta, incoming Arizona Cattle Growers Association president, who was quoted in the Arizona Republic last week: "When you do not thin your trees, do not harvest trees, do not harvest grass, you have tremendous fuel loads that build," he said. "It's time for the cows and the chainsaws."
Use the $1.2 million to buy Husqvarnas for everyone.