Northern California Science Writers Association

Catastrophic wildfires and the fate of the West

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Drake's Dealership, Oakland
  • 0


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Wildland fires are burning increasing areas of the West each year, eating up taxpayer dollars, polluting the air and destroying lives and livelihoods. Of the top 10 most destructive California wildfires, seven have burned over the last four years. Will it ever end?

Scott Stephens has been asking that question for decades, studying how wildfires spread and experimenting in national forests and national parks to find ways to stop them from getting out of control.

The situation, he says, can't be fixed easily or quickly, but we can change the trajectory of where the state and the arid West are headed. It will require major changes in fire management, state and local policy, and even people’s behavior, such as where they choose to live and the types of homes they build. Also key is better forest management, including more prescribed burns, restoration thinning, and a willingness to let many wildland fires burn In remote areas.

A professor of fire science in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and director of the Fire Science Laboratory at UC Berkeley. Stephens will talk about the science of wildfires, the wildfire situation in California and the West, why we are in such a dire situation, what we can do about it now, and what we have to look forward to in the future, given a warming and less predictable climate.

WHEN:Wednesday, July 10, 2019

6 p.m. - mixer

7 p.m. - dinner

8 p.m. - talk by Scott Stephens

WHERE: Drake's Dealership, 2325 Broadway, Oakland, located about 4 blocks from 19t St. BART station.

This classic brick building on Oakland’s historic Broadway Auto Row was once the parts and service department of an old Dodge dealership. Enjoy a wood-fired pizza and sample our fresh beer brewed right here in the East Bay.

Dinner: Fresh hummus, cheese, and flatbread platter; Drakes' Trendy Salad, with arugula, goose berries, gouda cheese and pecans; and a continuous selection of Drake's hand-crafted, wood-fired pizzas for both vegetarians and carnivores, with a light dessert to follow. All accompanied by your choice of Drake's fresh-brewed beers and ales. (no-host bar)

COST: $18 members, $12 students, $38 non-members

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