Undisciplined: The Environmental Engineer

Apr 10, 2020

Credit Stephen J. Otero

This week on Undisciplined, in the wake of the devastating wildfires in Australia, we’re talking about setting fires to avoid fires. And if that sounds counterintuitive and even dangerous to you, then you’re not alone. Because even though prescribed burning has been shown to be very effective at reducing wildfire risks, it remains an underutilized tactic, in part because of the perceived risks.  

A recent paper in the journal Nature Sustainability outlines a range of approaches for prescribed burns — fires purposefully set to clear ground fuels — and we’re joined today by the study’s lead author, Rebecca Miller, who is with us by phone from Stanford University, where she is a PhD student in the school of earth, energy and environmental sciences.