CWU News

Megafires Explored at CWU Presentation October 18

Megafires—raging wildfires that consume 100,000 acres or more—are becoming more prevalent, especially in the West, according to researcher Paul Hessburg, of the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the University of Washington. He will speak on “Era of Megafires,” a mix-media presentation at Central Washington University at 7:00 p.m. on October 18, in Science II, room 103. The event is free and open to the public.
Hessburg has conducted fire and landscape ecology research for more than 27 years. The presentation will consist of fast-moving, short, topic-based talks interspersed with compelling video vignettes. It features the work of wildfire photographer John Marshall.

“This is a phenomenal presentation about wildfire,” said Professor Susan Kaspari, CWU Geological Sciences. “Please join us if you are interested, and spread the word to people you think would be interested. This is very relevant for Kittitas County.”

The 70-minute multi-media travelling presentation is designed to educate audiences about wildfire, and the natural role it plays in the forest environment. It examines the part humans play in the wildfire equation and the significant increase in the incidence of megafires in the past decade. The presentation will also explore developing solutions to catastrophic fires.

A trailer for the presentation can be viewed here:

CWU’s new Science II building is located near the Student Union Recreation Building, adjacent to the Japanese Garden. Attendees may enter through the northwest and southwest doors of Science II. Parking at CWU lots is free after 4:30 p.m. and on weekends except in specially marked spaces or in residence hall lots.

“Era of Megafires” is part of the “Hazards, Risk, and Resilience in the Pacific Northwest” course that Kaspari and Professor Anne Egger teach in the Douglas Honors College fall quarter.

The Cascadia Hazards Institute provided financial support for this event.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
October 17, 2017