Megafires: How Do You Want Your Smoke?
Paul Hessburg, Ph.D is a research ecologist who has been studying historical and modern era forests for more than 30 years. His work documents large changes in forest conditions and how these changes, along with climate change, have set the stage for large and severe wildfires. Local wildfires that ravaged his favorite forests in 2014 and 2015 served as the impetus for Dr. Hessburg to make his findings more accessible to the public. Dr. Hessburg contends that “the current megafire issue is a social problem with an ecological explanation. To tackle it, we need to understand how we got here, what’s at stake, and what each of us can do.” His work with the Forest Service at the Pacific Northwest Research Station earned him the Forest Service’s Distinguished Scientist Award in 2017. Dr. Hessburg is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle.