Hot Conversation

  • 4 April 2018
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 9652
Hot Conversation

Clay Trauernicht (Natural Resources and Environmental Managment) recently was interviewed for the Hawai‘i Public Radio program The Conversation, which brought together experts in a variety of areas relating to disaster vulnerability and resilience. Trauernicht spoke about wildfire, explaining that there may be an increased risk of wildland burns this summer: the winter has been relatively wet, leading to increased plant growth, which creates greater fuel loads. Coupled with the typically dry conditions that are projected for the summer months, this translates to the greater possibility of fire. He also noted that over the past few decades, there has been a four-fold increase in the area of land burned in Hawai‘i—while it’s impossible to point to any single cause of this alarming trend, he says one big driver is the decline in agricultural production in the state. This leads to large tracts of unmanaged nonnative grasses, which burn very easily and quickly—fast food for wildfires. To hear more, listen to Clay’s interview at the HPR website—scroll down to the bottom of the page.