Dear Ms. Madeleine Brand,
Thank you for addressing the wildfire crisis in your December 14th Press Play radio show.
You asked some excellent questions. In particular, when a couple of your guests advocated for prescribed fire as a way to prevent another devastating Woolsey Fire, you kept pressing them on how such burns could be carried out safely with millions of people on the landscape. Mikke Pierson reflected the problematic nature of prescribed fire best when he answered honestly, “I have no idea.”
Prescribed fire, along with many other issues relating to wildfire in California, are terribly misunderstood. Such misunderstandings lead to misconceptions that can enable counterproductive public policy. A number of these misconceptions were repeated during the show. We are writing in hopes that this information will inspire you to pursue these matters further in future interviews, or perhaps as subject matter for another show.
The most notable misconceptions repeated during the show include:
1. Prescribed fire will allow us to live safely with Southern California firestorms.\
2. Large fires in California were unknown prior to the arrival of Europeans because of Native American burning.
3. If we let fire burn like is supposedly done in Baja California, we wouldn’t have large fires.
4.Dead trees pose a significant wildfire threat.