Climate Change

Catastrophic wildfires have devastating effects on our communities.

Each year, more catastrophic blazes — unnaturally high-intensity fires that cause damage to communities — continue to break out across our region, creating impacts that range far beyond their burn scars. Fires of this nature continue to increase in size and intensity. The probability of devastating wildfires in places like the Western U.S. could increase by one-third by 2050.

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Forest Destruction

Natural wildfire in the West has always played an important role in maintaining healthy forest ecosystems. However, in recent decades, wildfire has increased in frequency and severity, contributing to widespread forest mortality. Since 1970, the annual wildfire season has lengthened by 78 days. Since 1984, the area that burns annually has doubled. Alarmingly, the Forest Service estimates the area may double again by 2050. Forests are critical to improving air quality, as they work to absorb carbon and produce oxygen, acting as the lungs of our ecosystems. Destruction of our forests puts our communities, ecosystem health, and public lands at risk.

Help WRA reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires and mitigate their impacts on our Western forests.

Your donation will help us make use of prescribed burns – controlled fires conducted under the trained and watchful eye of experts – for the protection of our forests and communities.

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Threats to Western Communities

The continued aridification, or drying out, of the region is escalating fire behavior, and transforming wildfires that have been a natural part of the landscape for millennia into catastrophic megafires that have become a year-round threat for towns and cities across the West. For an increasing number of days each summer, massive amounts of wildfire smoke — and the resulting poor air quality — make it harder for us to live, work, and play in the region we call home. These fires also increase the likelihood of other environmental impacts to our communities, including flooding, erosion, reduced water quality, loss of key wildlife habitat, and other ecological and economic values.

Join WRA to help return our region to a healthier forest management that can prevent out-of-control megafires – making our homes safer, our environment healthier, and our air quality better.

Your support will allow us to continue advocating for increased funding for prescribed burns and fuel reductions, as well as strengthened land use planning, especially in high fire risk areas

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Ecosystem Health

Historically, natural wildfires have refreshed soil nutrients and encouraged healthy, functioning forest ecosystems. But climate change has changed the natural fire regime on Western lands. Rising temperatures due to climate change have helped drive an increase in wildfire activity. And these wildfires now burn hotter, for longer and endanger Western ecosystems, wildlife, homes, and water supplies. While natural wildfire helps rejuvenate forest ecology, the catastrophic fires of today scorch rather than regenerate the earth. Because of this, tree stand diversity, wildlife habitat, and the entire ecosystem suffer.  

Support WRA in developing state-level policy that gives communities more tools and funding to increase their resilience to wildfire, while achieving co-benefits for landscape and habitat conservation.

Your gift will help us safeguard our Western ecosystems from climate-driven megafires through long-proven and effective solutions like prescribed burns so that we can improve air quality, protect our communities, and encourage ecosystem health.

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How will you help protect the West from catastrophic wildfire?

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