Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 33

Feature .01
fighters and the long-overdue digitization of
logistics, changes have been trickling in over
the past decade. Among them is a relatively
new fire-management policy instituted by
the Forest Service that allows managers to select which parts of the fire to fight and which
parts to let burn unchecked. In other words,
firefighters can choose to fight the flames that
threaten homes, towns, or watersheds, while
letting the blazes' other flanks do good ecological work. (This tactic accounts for some of the
increase in annual acreage burned).
The service is also adopting risk-analysis
models like those used in the military. By using apps, firefighters can translate the major
drivers of fire behavior-fuel, moisture, slope,
Above: An Air National
Guard C-130 drops 3,000
gallons of retardant on
California's Glass Fire in
September. Below: The
2020 California wildfires
have burned more than 4.1
million acres this year, more
than doubling 2018's 1.8
million acre record.

localized weather conditions, proximity to
structures-into coded risk assessments that
allow them to determine how effective and
safe engaging a fire is; red means high danger,
green is good to go. While protecting firefighter lives, these models will also result in more
acreage burned and a gradual decrease of fire
risk across the landscape .
These shifts are good precursors to the larger changes that many in the fire service are now
seriously contemplating. Inside the agencies,
there's a growing recognition that the fire
deficit is so big that no amount of prescribed

burning or thinning could possibly restore
the woods to their presuppression conditions.
" The pace and scale of the ecological and social changes are far outpacing us, " says Dave
Calkin, a senior research forester for the Forest
Service in Missoula, Montana. " What would
it look like to treat a landscape that could stop
a fire under a 50mph wind? That landscape
doesn't exist. "
By one estimate, to return just California to
its presettler fire regime would require 20 million acres of prescribed fires. That's five times
more acreage than wildfires burned in this

historically enormous fire season and about
250 times more acreage than prescribed fires
burn in the state each year. As an example of
just how difficult air quality regulations and
public fear of fires makes prescribed burning,
one prescribed fire on the order of 1,000 acres
in Sequoia National Park took 10 years to plan
and enact.
With prescribed fires too hard to light and
wildfires too dangerous to fight, towns and
communities need to alleviate some of the
burden placed on firefighters by working to
protect themselves. Homeowners and city
managers need to make their places defensible islands in the ocean of fire-prone lands. As
Calkin puts it, " We need to start at the community and look out, as opposed to starting
at the forest and looking in. " Towns, homeowners, and communities could be incentivized to do this through things like insurance
rates (high for indefensible homes and low for
the prepared) and matching state and federal
grants that support building and retrofitting
homes with fire-safe materials, creating defensible space around towns and watersheds, and
igniting prescribed fires in the places they're
needed most.
This summer, Sens. Steve Daines (R-
Montana) and Dianne Fienstein (D-California)
co-authored a bill that would invest in a new approach to fire. Parts of the bill use risk reduction as a tired justification for expanding public-lands logging-an economic argument with
little evidence of reducing fire risk. But there
are good pieces to it, the best of which is a $300
million investment in a Western prescribedfire school. What's missing is an investment in
a public relations campaign with ads featuring
Smokey Bear hugging a drip torch saying, " It's
good fires or bad. Only you can pick, " or standing by his house saying, " Only you can protect
your home. "
Escaping the Pyrocene won't be quick or
clean. But fire seasons like 2020 and the many
millions of acres that have burned in the West
over the past two decades give us a pathway. All
these recent fires have blasted holes into the homogeneous forests that are so much at the root
of the fire crisis. Through slope-stabilization
work, the replanting of selected species, and
maintenance through thinning and prescribed
fire, the effects of old fires can be harnessed to
lessen the impacts of future blazes. Fires aren't
going anywhere. But with some intentionality,
we can pick how we get our flames. O.R.

December 2020 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 33



Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - December 2020

OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MARKETING
RETAIL 101
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADERS
THE OR CHAT
RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
NATURE AS MEDICINE
FREERIDESTAN!
BREAD + BUTTER
BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
GEAR GALLERY
HOT PICKS
THE VIEW
FIELD NOTES
#SHOPLIFE
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - DECEMBER 2020
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 12
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 14
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 16
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RETAIL 101
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 20
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THOUGHT LEADERS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE OR CHAT
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - RESEARCH AND RESOURCES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - WELCOME TO THE PYROCENE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 30
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 32
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - NATURE AS MEDICINE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 36
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FREERIDESTAN!
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 42
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BREAD + BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKCOUNTRY BOOM
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - GEAR GALLERY
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 51
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 52
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 54
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - HOT PICKS
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - FIELD NOTES
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 66
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 68
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #SHOPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - 72
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - December 2020 - BACKSTORY
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