Acres burned by wildfire expected to double this century

Mar 27, 2014

Montanans are getting accustomed to smoky summers, as our fire seasons have gotten longer and more intense in recent years. Get ready for things to get worse. A recent report on the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems says the number of acres burned by wildfire will at least double this century. The report is part of a National Climate Assessment presented to Congress and the President. Forest service research scientist David Peterson is one of the three editors of that report.

Forest service research scientist David Peterson

"Even if we stopped emissions today, we'd have to live with the situation for probably another two, three hundred years."

Peterson studies fire ecology and climate change at the Pacific Wildland fire sciences laboratory in Seattle. He's in Missoula to take part in this year's Plum Creek lecture series at the University of Montana.
    In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with Peterson about the dramatic changes the report concludes will occur in the western U.S. because of climate change.


[David Peterson will speak about climate change impacts Friday morning, March 28th, at 11:30 in the University Center theater on the University of Montana campus. His talk is free and open to the public.]