“Taming Wildfires” is dedicated to the memory of the 23 civilians killed in the Tubbs, Nuns, Adobe and Pocket fires; as well as the 123 Medal of Valor Honorees and more than 900 CAL FIRE firefighters who have given the ultimate sacrifice to render assistance to save human life and property since California became a state, in 1850.
For more than 100-years, the US Forest Service has been responsible for managing more the 193-million acres of national forests and grasslands. Over the past 20-years, the portion of their budget dedicated to fighting fire has grown at an alarming rate. In 2015, more than 50% of the Forest Service’s budget was dedicated to wildfire risk mitigation. Mega-fires, representing 1-2% of forest fires, consume 30% or more of annual costs.
The depletion of non-fire programs to pay for the ever-increasing costs of fire has real implications, not only for the Forest Service’s restoration work that would help prevent catastrophic fires, but also for the protection of watersheds and cultural resources, upkeep of programs and infrastructure that support thousands of recreation jobs and billions of dollars of economic growth in rural communities, and support for the range of multiple uses, benefits and ecosystem services, as well as research, technical assistance, and other programs that deliver value to the American public.
“Taming Wildfires” analyzes the critical role water plays in minimizing the costs of fighting wildfires and minimizing the loss of life and property.