Ep. 27Michael Wara Part 2: Sustainability of the Suppression Workforce + Lots More

Michael Wara talks about wildfire impacts on the electric grid in a very grainy screenshot from a CSPAN video.

In the second half of their conversation, Michael Wara and Amanda briefly dive into the nitty gritty of liability regimes as they relate to both wildland and prescribed fires, how smoke will continue to impact communities across the West and finally, how the current suppression workforce structure is not a practical means of moving into a more fire-adapted future.

Of course, a suppression workforce will always be important, but Michael considers the abysmal work-life balance of the current wildland fire suppression structure and how that contributes to low retention of skilled employees. Eventually this brings him to consider how women are pushed out of the suppression/operational fire world by way of wanting a family or children, and how this has long-standing implications for the sustainability of the workforce and its objectives.


3:15—Wildfire liability/responsibility regimes
8:45—Air quality impacts on communities
12:30—Prescribed fire liabilities, California’s “claims fund”
21:55—Sustainability of suppression workforce; retention and having a family; the engrained misogyny of wildland firefighter work-life balance
23:30—Could community fire stewards be the future of sustainable employment in the wildfire/prescribed fire spaces?
26:55—The desperate need to build a bigger, skilled workforce to meet our management objectives

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