Securing healthy ecosystems and communities

After a century of fire exclusion, ecosystems and communities across Western North America now face a growing threat from extreme wildfire. In part, this reflects changes in climate that have yielded hotter, drier seasons. Other factors contribute too: ecosystem fragmentation, historic clear-cutting, pathogens and invasive species, increasing sprawl and development at the wildland-urban interface, and a related increase in human-caused ignitions.  
 
But fire is an essential element within many of these landscapes. For their long-term integrity, fire needs to be able to retain its integral function.  

The Wildfire Resilience Initiative aims to support a transformation in the role that fire plays and is perceived to play in Western North America, from an unwanted, destructive threat to a vitalizing element in our landscapes.  

 

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IMPACT STATEMENT

Enabling beneficial fire and reducing vulnerability to extreme wildfire to safeguard healthy fire-adapted ecosystems and resilient fire-prone communities.

KEY DATA POINTS

The dynamic context of our changing climate

The annual area burned by forest fires in the western United States has increased ten-
fold over the past half-century. Assuming constant fuels, models project a
doubling of mean annual forest-fire area between now and 2050, compared to 1991–
2020.

  • first award

    Jan 2019

  • grants to date

    $44,457,253

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