The Fires of 2013: What we learned about
changes in climate and fire behavior
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 11:45am - 1:15pm
The Grove Hotel
Rocky Barker, Idaho Statesman Environment Reporter
Dick Bahr, National Park Service Fire Science and Ecology Program Leader

Twenty-five years ago, Rocky Barker and Dick Bahr experienced the huge fires in Yellowstone National Park firsthand, when Rocky was a reporter for the Idaho Falls Post-Register and Dick was in charge of aviation operations in Yellowstone.  Today the fierce wildfires that burn tens of thousands of acres a day have become routine.


Rocky and Dick will talk about how more than half of the forests of southern and central Idaho have burned since 1988, and what they saw this year that gives us a window into what we can expect in the future as the fire seasons get longer, the summers hotter, and the winters warmer. They will also take questions from the audience.


Barker has written about wildfires for the Statesman since 1996. He is the author of several books including, “Scorched Earth: How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America,” a finalist for the Western Writers of America's Spur Award in nonfiction. The story inspired a television movie, “Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone” on the A&E network. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Northland College.


As fire science and ecology program leader for the National Park Service at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Dick works on policy development, fuels management, fire ecology, smoke coordination, and fire behavior training. He began his career in Glacier National Park monitoring water quality, and moved into fire management in 1982, working in the Everglades, the Midwest, and Yellowstone. Dick has a degree in microbiology from Montana State University.


This is a joint presentation of City Club of Boise and Idaho Environmental Forum. IEF members who would like to attend can do so at the City Club member price.

Chair: Andy Brunelle, Rich Garber
Moderator: Dick Gardner