Fire Management in the Klamath Mountains

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Fire Management in the Klamath Mountains

Date: 05/16/2022     State: CA     Issues: Climate, Fire     Partners: Karuk Tribe, Mid Klamath Watershed Council Airport Origin : Weed, CA    


Conduct overflights of the Klamath Mountains with public officials, land managers, members of the Karuk Tribe, and press to further understand and implement best-fire management practices and legislation. Projects in the Klamath Mountains that utilize cultural knowledge and science-based management tactics can be scaled up throughout the West to effectively manage fire.

Drought and high temperatures have increased the frequency and severity of wildfires. In 2021 alone, over 2,568,500 acres were burned by wildfires. In 2020, thirty people lost their lives in wildfires and it is estimated an additional 3,000 people died prematurely due to wildfire smoke. Good fire management practices are crucial, now more than ever. As California and the nation attempt to address wildfires, initiatives in the Klamath Mountains serve as an example of effective and efficient fire management tactics. Our overflight examined the region and how cultural burning and prescribed fire are essential to managing the spread and intensity of forest fires. Past policies have focused on fire suppression, but the science is clear - fire-adapted ecosystems rely on burning cycles, and with increasingly hot temperatures and drought-stressed forests, fires are happening, regardless of intensive suppression efforts.

EcoFlight's partners are working to implement best-fire management practices and legislation that will help our country to steward our land responsibly by utilizing expert and effective cultural knowledge of fire management. Our partners and the Karuk Tribe are working to better relationships with California and fire agencies to increase the understanding of the expertise of Tribes and cultural fire practitioners, and their land authority. Repairing the relationship between California's Indigenous peoples and the way we manage wildfires will offer effective and cost-efficient means to create resilient and fire-adapted ecosystems. Air quality regulations, burn permits, and environmental review create barriers to controlled, effective fire management tactics like intentional burnings. EcoFlight's partners are implementing innovative programs in the Klamath Mountains that can be scaled up throughout the West to effectively manage fire by utilizing cultural knowledge of intentional burnings and effectively achieve our shared goal to protect our communities, forests, and air-quality.

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