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One Planet: What should be done to restore California's forests & reduce wildfire risks?


On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet Series, we discuss forest fires in California. Last year, more than 2.5 million acres burned and 4.3 million acres burned in 2020. Since 2017, more than 10 million acres and thousands of homes have burned in California. Climate change has led to an increase in wildfire season length, wildfire frequency, and burned areas.

Climate change and land-use changes are projected to make wildfires more frequent and intense, with a global increase of extreme fires of up to 14 percent by 2030; 30 percent by the end of 2050; and 50 percent by the end of the century, according to a report by the UN Environment Program and GRID-Arendal. What will it take to make California forests more resilient to fires?


Kurtis Alexander, enterprise reporter for The San Francisco Chronicle, with a focus on natural resources and the environment

Chad Hanson, co-founder of the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute, author of Smokescreen: Debunking Wildfire Myths to Save Our Forests and Our Climate, and co-editor of The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix

Web Resources:

The Los Angeles Times: Lightning strikes ignite cluster of Northern California wildfires

The San Francisco Chronicle: ‘It scares the heck out of me’: California’s federal firefighter shortage has gotten dramatically worse

The New York Times: The Case Against Commercial Logging in Wildfire-Prone Forests

The San Francisco Chronicle: California is desperate to stop mega-fires. But controversy rages over tree thinning

National Geographic: Goats may help prevent wildfires in California as drought worsens

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.