Op-Ed: Wildfires have changed. Firefighting hasn’t

By Adriana Petryna, past Member (2003–04) and Visitor (2006) in the School of Social Science:

"Already this year, both Colorado and New Mexico have seen the most destructive wildfires in their states’ histories. Colorado’s Marshall Fire consumed almost 1,100 homes in Boulder County. At a time when rooftops and lawns would normally have been covered with snow, drought had left the region dry and vulnerable instead. Erratic wind conditions also contributed to New Mexico’s Hermits Peak Fire. It originated as a prescribed burn to clear out overcrowded trees and dense brush in the Santa Fe National Forest. It was set in early April, when fire and fuel specialists expected lower temperatures and higher moisture levels. But when winds blew embers beyond the project boundary, the burn joined a neighboring fire to become a megafire, eventually burning more than 300,000 acres and forcing waves of evacuations."

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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