Lori Daniels, professor of Forest Ecology and director of the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC in Vancouver, talks about the causes and outcomes of wild fires. (Photo submitted)

Talk covers wild fire causes and benefits

Science in Society Speaker Series is sparking a new season

As the smoke across the Okanagan begins to lift, the Science in Society Speaker Series is sparking a new season Wednesday with a talk intended to keep wildfires top-of-mind for the public.

Since April, the BC Wildfire Service has reported 1,275 fires across the province, representing a burning area of more than 1.212 million hectares. The impact is undeniable.

“It’s important to recognize that despite the destruction, wildfire is also an essential process in forest ecosystems,” said Lori Daniels, professor of Forest Ecology and director of the Tree-Ring Lab at UBC in Vancouver. “In the wildland-urban interface though they can be incredibly destructive. What is imperative is the adaptation of individuals and communities learning how to live with wildfire.”

Kicking-off this year’s Science in Society Speaker Series Wednesday, Oct. 4, the public is invited to hear Daniels present her long-term forest fire patterns research and hear her speak about forest resilience to climate change.

The presentation will take place at Okanagan College’s Vernon campus in the lecture theatre at 7:30 p.m.

“Wildfire is driven by climate, weather and fuels that vary among ecosystems and through time,” said Daniels.

“Combined, land-use change, fire exclusion and global warming have made many forests highly susceptible to intense fires that are difficult to control and spread to large sizes. Revolutionizing forest and fire management will improve ecosystem resilience to climate change, but we will not stop future fires from burning.”

Daniels’ research, published in leading academic journals, applies tree-ring analyses to investigate disturbance patterns and the impacts of climate and humans on forest dynamics.

Given her interests in conservation and sustainable resource management, much of her research has practical application and is collaborative with non-governmental organizations, government agencies and private companies.

Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door.

For advanced tickets, call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644 or purchase them online at www.eventbrite.ca.

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