Imagine if we didn’t need to evacuate near every year when wildfires come to town. Imagine when we don’t need to risk firefighters’ lives so routinely. Imagine a time when we welcome fire into our midst instead of snuffing it out in fear every time, handing future generations a legacy of better fire policy and practice. Imagine a day when Smokey Bear and Torchbearr stand shoulder to shoulder at a podium describing the benefits of a large scale prescribed burn they’re about to do together.
We can get there. But we have a lot of work to do. To change our fire story, we need to change the ways we manage fire in this country, and get back to using large scale intentional fire. And to do that, we need to change our country’s rules and priorities.