All this week in Bend, forest scientists and land managers are meeting at the Central Oregon Fire Science Symposium. Organizers are expecting nearly 200 attendees for what’s being billed as the “Week of Fire”.
Geoff Babb is a fire ecologist for the Central Oregon Fire Management Service. He says just as our forests have changed over time, so too has our understanding of how they work.
One question of primary interest to land managers here, is how to best promote the health and resilience of forests after long periods of human fire suppression.
Babb says much of the research being discussed this week is either hot off the press or still ongoing.
“That’s the real value of this kind of meeting and gathering. We’re trying to keep as current as possible and get that information in the hands of the folks that are going to be able to use it on the ground,” Babb says.
On Thursday, the symposium will host the first meeting of the Oregon Prescribed Fire Council. The group was formed last year to address issues such smoke management, the sharing of resources and legal liability.