UBC Undergraduate Research

Climate change and the implications for forest fires in British Columbia Bennett, Curtis


British Columbia has engaged in fire suppression techniques since 1912 (British Columbia Forest Service, 2010). As a result large amounts of fuel build-up have resulted in many areas of our forests which must be managed. Climate change is expected to create a number of changes for the characteristics of our environment. These changes will alter how forest fire regimes interact with the landscape and the forest fuels upon them. Forest fire management will need to adapt to the changing fire disturbance regimes and as such I have made the following recommendations: - More intensive mapping of forest fire disturbance regimes. - Investigation of new management strategies for forest fuels. - Utilization of different tactics such as: o Prescribed burning o Assisted migration - Practice "Adaptive Management" to provide flexibility against changing future conditions. - Create Policy guidelines which will assist fuel management operations across the landscape. - Due to the large role of Carbon emissions in forest fire management, Carbon management should be integrated with fuel management plans. I believe that these steps will allow fire management in British Columbia to more easily cope with the implications of climate change.

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