Wildfires and the West

The Hinckley Institute Radio Hour (Original Air Date: August 22, 2021) — This week on the program, a panel of experts look at the worsening fire conditions in the western U.S. and discuss the efforts to mitigate wildfires in the region.

This summer, the Wasatch Front saw some of the worst air quality in the world due to smoke from both in and out-of-state fires. Northern California’s Dixie Fire burned nearly 1 million acres, 1,300 structures and cost more than half a billion dollars to combat. Thousands of Utahns were also forced to evacuate their homes in August as unprecedented drought conditions and heat fueled a fire near Park City.

This week’s panel discusses the environmental, societal and economic realities of these wildfires and how the west must adapt to a warming climate. The panel includes Andrea Brunelle, chair of the Geography Department at the University of Utah; Brett Ostler, State Fire Management Officer at the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Kim Frost, Executive Director of UCAIR; and Mitchell Power, associate professor of geography at the University of Utah. Moderating today’s discussion is Brenda Bowen, director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center and co-chair of the University of Utah Climate Taskforce.

This forum was made in partnership with the University of Utah Office of Sustainability.

This forum was recorded on September 1st, 2021.