During this historic wildfire season, The Nature Conservancy has launched a new online wildfire resource for journalists, wildfire workers, and the public, called Wildfire News. This free online resource combines ongoing social media wildfire updates from all over the country with daily reports from the National Interagency Fire Center.
“This is the only resource that combines official federal wildfire response information with news gathered first-hand from regular folks in places where fires are happening,” says Patrick Graham, the Conservancy in Arizona’s state director.
The Nature Conservancy is the only non-governmental agency that applies planned, controlled burns across the country. In Arizona, The Conservancy is playing a pivotal role in the nation’s largest thinning project set to restore 300,000 acres in ten years in northern Arizona. The chapter also leads the FireScape program designed to improve forest health across whole mountain ranges across southeastern Arizona.
The last decade has seen an increase in the number and size of wildfires. Since 1960 the five biggest wildfire years in the United States have all occurred in the last eight years.
“Four million acres of forest in Arizona are in urgent need of restoration,” adds Graham. “This unhealthy condition, combined with drought and warmer temperatures, increase the risk of destructive, unnatural megafires.”
Forests cover one-third of the United States; store and filter half the nation’s water supply; provide jobs to more than a million wood products workers; absorb nearly 20% of U.S. carbon emissions; offer 650 million acres of recreational lands that generate well over $15 billion in annual economic activity; and provide habitat for thousands of species. The Nature Conservancy is working to preserve those services.
The Nature Conservancy has fire experts in every state. Media members are encouraged to contact their local Nature Conservancy to speak with a fire expert.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy in Arizona