Research press release


Nature Sustainability

Environment: Barriers preventing prescribed burns for California wildfire management identified



今回Rebecca Millerたちは、このタイプの森林火災対策の広範な展開を妨げているのが何であるのかを解明するため、州の規制、山焼きの記録、カリフォルニア州で行った山焼きに関する対話に参加した45名のキーパーソンのインタビューの記録を分析した。その結果、法的責任に対する不安や大衆の否定的な見方などのリスクに関連する障壁が、土地所有者が山焼きを計画する過程を開始するのを妨げていることが見いだされた。限られた資金、作業員の有無や経験などのリソースに関連する障壁、そして山焼きに不適切な気象条件や環境的な規制などの規制に関連する障壁も、土地所有者が山焼きを行うのを妨げており、計画と実行の間のギャップを大きくしている。


Three types of sociopolitical barriers preventing the widespread application of prescribed burns for wildfire management in California - risk-related, resource-related and regulations-related - are identified in a paper published in Nature Sustainability. Prescribed burns are fires purposefully set under controlled conditions to clear ground fuels, and have been shown to be an efficient method of wildfire prevention.

Catastrophic wildfires have increased in the western United States and all over the world in recent years. These fires stem from a combination of climate change, which has heightened hot and dry conditions, historic fire-suppression policies, which have enabled a century of accumulation of fuel (wood and other plant material), and insufficient treatment of fuel. Twenty million acres of forestland in California could benefit from prescribed burns or other fuel treatment options.

Rebecca Miller and colleagues analysed state legislation, prescribed burn records and transcripts from interviews with 45 key participants in California’s prescribed burn conversations in order to understand exactly what is preventing widespread deployment of this type of wildfire management. The authors found that risk-related barriers, such as the fear of liability and negative public perceptions, prevent landowners from beginning the burn planning process. Resource-related barriers - including limited funding, crew availability and experience - as well as regulations-related barriers - poor weather conditions for burning and environmental regulations - also prevent landowners from conducting burns, which creates a gap between planning and implementation.

The authors conclude that fundamental shifts in prescribed burn policies are needed to address wildfires in California and worldwide.

doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0451-7

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