Forest & Fire Learning Series: In Our Backyard – Community Preparedness & Seasonal Outlooks
6:00pm / Mountain Studies Institute Facebook page and YouTube channel
In preparation for Wildfire Awareness Month beginning in May, Mountain Studies Institute is gearing up for its 4th annual Forest & Fire Learning Series that will take place every Thursday in April 6-7pm. This livestream e-vent will feature a Q&A session following presentations intended to educate and engage our community on a variety of topics that include wildfire management, fire-adapted communities, the connection between wildfires and water, adaptations to the challenges of 2020, the chemistry of wildfire smoke and air quality, seasonal outlooks for 2021, and personal stories of living with fire.
To wrap up the last evening in the 5-part Forest & Fire Learning Series, we will learn about local wildfire resources and mitigation efforts with Alex Graf and Gem Boone. Alex will cover some of the many programs and services offered by Wildfire Adapted Partnership (WAP) while Gem shares her experience as a neighborhood ambassador for the Elk Steam Ranch in the East Canyon Community. Her powerful story will outline the coordinated and community-wide response to the East Canyon Fire in the summer of 2020 - by the time Gem received her emergency alert text with the mandatory evacuation order, the entire community was mostly through its evacuation plan, phone-trees were completed, livestock was loaded, and Gem herself was already driving out of the community with all of her belongings.
Brad Pietruszka will conclude the evening with a presentation that shows seasonal outlooks for both wildfire and prescribed fire across the San Juan National Forest and surrounding areas for 2021. Brad will explain the concept of fire debt, or the amount of fire that is missing from a landscape, what that means in our changing climate, and the two paths we can take to prepare for its inevitable return.
- Alex Graf: Montezuma County Coordinator, Wildfire Adapted Partnership
- Gem Boone: Neighborhood Ambassador, East Canyon Community
- Brad Pietruszka: Fuels Program Manager, San Juan National Forest, USDA Forest Service
We invite you to join the conversation, ask questions, and help to inform a community approach to living with fire!
Photo: Michael Remke