“The film documents the Teakettle Experiment, a ten-year collaboration of forest managers and scientists from diverse disciplines that investigated the effects of prescribed fire and forest thinning on restoring forest health.
A century of fire suppression has significantly changed many western forests, leaving them overcrowded and susceptible to disease, pests, and catastrophic crown fires that endanger lives and property.”
Here is the trailer (YouTube):
Besides describing the science behind the use of fire and fire mimicry practices in restoring forests, there is something else remarkable about this film.
It seems that the UC scientists who have vigorously opposed my efforts of using fire mimicry practices to help oaks with sudden oak death are now acknowledging that fire suppression is linked to the increased incidence of diseases, such as Sudden Oak Death. David Rizzo, professor at UC Davis and a leading researcher of Sudden Oak Death disease, comments on the overcrowding of forests due to fire suppression, stating (at 1 min 34 sec in the trailer):
“So during times such as drought there’s a lot of competition for moisture, trees are more stressed, they’re more susceptible to insects . . . and diseases.”
Wow! What a change in tone from a few years ago when any mention of fire in the context of Sudden Oak Death disease would set Rizzo and his colleagues into a fury. I applaud Prof. Rizzo for keeping an open mind in this matter.
It is no secret that fire suppression is linked to Sudden Oak Death. UC scientists Max Moritz and Dennis Odion published a paper in 2005:
in which they concluded that the incidence of Sudden Oak Death disease was “extremely rare” within the perimeter and any area burned since 1950.
The science for implementing fire mimicry practices to restore California oaks is getting ever more solid.