Adapting to Wildfires in the Age of Climate Change

October 17, 2019

wildfire blazing

In the Western U.S., escalating wildfire risk is our new normal.

Landscape Architecture Professor Bart Johnson is leading a team to research how communities can work together to adapt to this reality.

“Wildfires are worse now than in the past,” Johnson told Around the O. “They will continue to get worse because of changes in climate, the buildup of fuels such as brush in forests, and the influx of new people into wildland-urban interfaces. More people are being exposed to increasing levels of threat.”

With a $1.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, Johnson is heading a group of colleagues and students from four universities to investigate how social networks can effectively respond to the growing risk.

“We’re primarily looking at how relationships among people affect wildfire management and whether reorganizing those relationships could reduce future losses of people and homes,” Johnson said.

Read more in the AtO story “UO prof heads project to help people adapt to wildfire risks.”