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Fire is the focus of Fairbanks meeting

A burning interest in fires sparked an all-day symposium at the University of Alaska Fairbanks August 15. Scientists and members of the public gathered to discuss the effect of large fire seasons and changing wildland fire policy. In 2004, the largest wildland fire season on record, fires burned 6.59 million acres in Alaska. The following year, Alaska's third largest season, fires burned 4.7 million acres.

This year has brought something of a reprieve, and a chance for scientists and other wildland fire experts to share their knowledge. The daylong symposium, The Human-Fire Interactions in the Boreal Forest of Interior Alaska took place Aug. 15, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Elvey Auditorium on the West Ridge.

According to a press release issued before the event, scientists were scheduled to address the effect of climate and vegetation on fire; the effect of fire on rural economies and subsistence resources; the cost of fire suppression; the changing role of fire policy and fire management in Alaska; and opportunities created by the increasing risk of wildland fires. “The fire management community is dealing with a lot of issues, changes, and uncertainty,” said Scott Rupp, associate professor in the Department of Forest Sciences at UAF. “We are trying to define these issues, understand the direction and rates of change, and begin to quantify the associated uncertainty.”

[Read more at University of Alaska Fairbanks]

| Posted 08.17.06 at 7:18 am

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