Think California’s 2020 wildfires are bad? Future fire seasons could be worse, retired U.S. Forest Service chief says

California
“The broad confluence of factors that you got there in California — the Meditteranean climate, the [dead trees] in the Sierra and then over 2 million properties at risk — shouldn’t be a surprise,” Harbour said. “It’s trite to say ... this isn’t the worst of it.” This photo shows a home in Juniper Hills that was destroyed by the Bobcat Fire.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

“The broad confluence of factors that you got there in California — the Meditteranean climate, the [dead trees] in the Sierra and then over 2 million properties at risk — shouldn’t be a surprise,” Harbour said. “It’s trite to say … this isn’t the worst of it.” This photo shows a home in Juniper Hills that was destroyed by the Bobcat Fire.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Bad news, Californians, but 2020’s fire season may not be an aberration.

In fact, we’re probably facing years of increasing fire, smoke, death and destruction both in rural towns and suburban foothills unless we and the rest of the country get on the same page on how to deal with this threat.

At least that’s how Tom Harbour, retired fire chief of the U.S. Forest Service, sees it.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Harbour, who led the agency’s fire response for 11 years and spent 46 years in firefighting, gave his thoughts on how California and the West have arrived on this fire-filled path and the difficult choices that would have to be made to leave it.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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