forest fire PPIC/University of California

Decreasing forest density will reduce fire risk, build climate resilience

Decades of fire suppression efforts have increased density of trees and other fuels in headwater forests to uncharacteristically high levels.

California needs to increase the pace and scale of efforts to improve the health of its headwater forests — the source of two-thirds of the state's surface water supply. Management techniques such as prescribed fire, managed wildfire and mechanical thinning can help rebuild resilience in these forests and prepare them for a challenging future.

These are among the key findings of a report released Sept. 18 by the Public Policy Institute of California's (PPIC) Water Policy Center.

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