UW News

May 24, 2022

Video: Experts collaborate to troubleshoot necessary fires and harmful smoke

UW News

Journalists: Download soundbites here. 

Forest fire smoke can make you sick, and we’re experiencing more of it as climate change has turned more forests into fuel from California to Washington state. In terms of public health, it seems logical to reduce forest fires to limit unhealthy air pollution, but forest managers are increasingly seeing prescribed burning of trees and underbrush as an essential tool to reduce explosive wildfires.

How should we plan to deal with the impacts of these fires? Savannah D’Evelyn, a postdoctoral fellow in UW’s Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences describes a unique series of Zoom conversations led by the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy involving roughly 60 experts charged with keeping forests and people healthy. That working group — comprised of scientists, practitioners and specialists in forest and fire ecology, fire safety, air quality, health care and public health — used an interdisciplinary approach resulting in recommendations that will help scientist and communities work together to “combat this climate and public health crisis.”

Read more here.

For more information, contact D’Evelyn at sdevelyn@uw.edu.