Wildfire Season: Forestry Impact

September 08, 2021

Exceptionally hot and dry weather is once again fueling dozens of wildfires across North America, sending smoke all the way from the West coast to the East, and nearing yet another record-breaking year. The raging Dixie Fire has become the first in California’s history to “burn its way clear across” the Sierra Nevada mountain range, according to Cal Fire Director Thom Porter. Meanwhile, the Caldor Fire in Northern California grew 24 times its size in two days, per CNN, with some crews from the Dixie Fire rerouted to help fight the blaze.

Impact

2021’s wildfire season is being driven by major drought across the North American continent, with thousands of structures and homes severely damaged or lost entirely. Many have had to evacuate their homes unsure of when – or if – they’ll be able to return. In the United States alone, over 40,900 wildfires have burned over 4.4 million acres as of mid-August. Of these, 93 large fires were still uncontained in 14 states at the beginning of September.

In addition to the wood products industry, many more industries reliant on proper forestry management – from wine and transportation to tourism and outdoor recreation – are impacted by wildfires every year. Unfortunately for organizations in the burn path, there are far-reaching consequences to a wildfire, both direct and indirect.

Depending on the level of burn through an area, communities may see loss of property, structures, equipment, employment, and assets. There may also be a significant impact to transportation, distribution networks, utilities, and more. All of these factors often expand their impact to neighboring regions, with increased costs for labor, goods, and services hitting surrounding counties and states.

Moving forward

These large and destructive fires have a generational impact on the effected communities and industries that operate in those communities. Whether your business is in a wildfire-prone area or relies on vendors, suppliers, or customers who are, every wildfire should be taken seriously. Fortunately, many stakeholders, are invested in mitigating and preventing catastrophic wildfires. And they are committed to the years-long undertaking of rehabilitating and replanting forestlands affected by these devastating fires. #forestproud, a community committed to making choices that keep forests as forests, provides great resources for learning about forest rehabilitation post-wildfire – including videos on restoring balance and what you can do to help stop them, and even an interview from a smokejumper with a look at what it takes to put it all on the line to protect our forests and keep our communities safe.

At Boise Paper we are committed to supporting responsible forest management and protecting forest land through responsible fiber sourcing. Learn more about sustainable forestry at www.Forests.org.

For daily updates and more information on current wildfires, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service website here.

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