Transcript for Research scientist Jon E. Keeley speaks on wildfires and climate change
We guess this issue though my a scientist from the US Geological Survey there in Three Rivers California John Healy I think joining us by Skype I hope so. Sunny there. How do here. You know what it your expert opinion on whether the state of California should be doing anything differently. To help mitigate the damage. These fires. Well I think one of the important things to realizes bit. These fires or is better than are not just because we have the severe wind event every autumn. But we're at the tail end of a very severe drought in California southern gospel in. Has been in drought conditions since 2012. And other parts of the state have had anywhere from three to four years of drought in the impact of this drought is. A lot of the native vegetation has died producing a lot of debt fuel on the landscape and so. You couple that with the severe wind and the fact that. Keep all accidentally or on purpose are starting new fires. It collectively. Primary. We're talking earlier about any possible impact of global warming and climate change could that have our led to some of these severe droughts on camino California experiences house what do you make of that. Not clear evidence that this route is due to global warming. But there's no question that global warming. Makes these drought more severe in terms of the impact on the vegetation boat. Just a few degrees increase in temperature and mean a much worst impact of the drought but it not. At the present time clear that global warming caused the drought. Is there anything in terms of land management that you would suggest for. For cities and communities that are looking at this as a new. Very scary normal for the state of California how we're talking earlier about whether or not and towns have been building too far incidents in the foothills. Is a state property you have to look at how they how they mapped out community is moving forward. Well that's certainly one avenue where were likely to make headway in that is through. Serious look at our land planning decisions because. The population is growing continuously in California. And in the next several decades were expected increase by 50%. And where we put these people will. Determined how many people are at risk to these wildfires so better planning decisions. The other important issue has do it. What starts these fires speak Perez. We get severe winds and droughts. Frequently. But is they don't resulted in big fires beat that is nobody starts a fire during those dents and the more people we have and landscape the more likelihood somebody's gonna start a fire and often times. In recent years the worst offenders in terms of igniting fires are our line. And so certainly better planning efforts in terms of where weak but power lines in the types of our alliance week Libyan for example underground power would mean one. Potential late view reduce fire station. That's really injure staying. And right now we just obviously in the middle of this. I'm terrible story just worry about all those that are still in that power the destruction from the terrible fires thank you so much for joining asked. And we'll continue to follow you know sort of all the research and information out of California.
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