Campus Life - Kamloops  

Studying how to adapt to extreme fire weather

Even before BC Premier David Eby announced in April plans for research-informed training and education for wildfire fighters, research was already well underway at TRU’s Institute for Wildfire Science, Adaptation and Resiliency.

Master of science student Leona Shepherd is one of many graduate students working with renowned wildfire expert Dr. Mike Flannigan. Shepherd’s research project explores climate change and extreme fire weather.

“An extreme fire weather event is the period in time when the weather conditions are conducive to the rapidly spreading, high-intensity wildfires that can cause problems for fire management agencies and ultimately threaten communities,” she said.

Extreme fire weather is increasing in BC and around the world. Shepherd’s research will have a direct impact on this pressing challenge by contributing to inform future fire management.

“We’re kind of reaching this spot where we can’t just look to the past to inform what we’re going to be doing in the future. We really need to adapt and kind of change our practices and policies to what we expect to be seeing in the future,” said Shepherd.

“Using my research to say ‘Look, you know in 50 years we’re going to have twice as many or three times as many days where wildfire is a problem,’ I think that’s really valuable for long-term strategic planning.”

Watch the full video. Learn more about the Institute for Wildfire Science, Adaptation and Resiliency.

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