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Can More Logging Help Prevent California Wildfires?

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Flames leap above a vehicle on High Valley Rd as the Ranch Fire, part of the Mendocino Complex Fire, burns near Clearlake Oaks, California, on August 5, 2018 (Photo: Noah Berger/AFP/Getty Images)

Cal Fire officials announced yesterday that the Mendocino Complex fire grew to over 283,000 acres, making it the largest in state history.  As wildfires across the state rage on, Governor Brown and some lawmakers are calling for increased forest thinning to lessen the threat posed by fires. Those in favor of logging say that removing trees and vegetation can help reduce a fire’s intensity and make forests more resilient. Opponents say thinning does nothing to protect communities from fires and imperils species that depend on dense forests. We’ll take up the debate.

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Guests:

Chad Hanson, director, John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute ; co-author, "Nature's Phoenix: The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires"

Molly Peterson, reporter on assignment for KQED News

Scott Stephens, professor of fire science at the College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Rich Gordon, president and CEO, California Forestry Association, former assemblymember representing California's 21st district

Jim Wood, assemblymember for district 2, Sonoma County, a member of the Senate and Assembly conference committee on wildfire preparedness and response

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