Fire Ecology, 2013
Volume 9, Issue 2
Opportunities for Improved Fire Use and Management in California: Lessons from Western Australia
Authors: Rick J. Sneeuwjagt, Tim S. Kline, and Scott L. Stephens
As the large scale of fuel treatments needed to promote ecosystem health and reduce heavy fuel loads becomes clear in California’s mixed conifer forests, managers are beginning to focus on how to scale up prescribed fire use in order to treat a meaningful portion of the landscape. We look at the example of Western Australia’s large-scale and highly successful prescribed burning program by their Department of Environment and Conservation as a model for emulation by land management agencies in California. Focusing on: 1) novel management practices, 2) inter-agency collaboration, 3) regulatory collaboration and policy, 4) research integration, 5) cultural acceptance, and 6) political support of prescribed fire, we make recommendations for a new approach to the management and regulation of fire use in California’s mixed conifer forests.