Got to Missoula for the opening of the Fire Continuum Conference on wildfire. Great so far. Tony Incahola from the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes explained how Native Americans successfully used fire as a management tool in the years before settlement. Members of the Salish and Kootenai also performed a welcome ceremony. You can hear it in the video below.
Dave Calkin, PhD, Supervisory Research Forester, Human Dimensions Program, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station gave the keynote for the conference. I have linked to an article about it in comments.
He called wildfire a “wicked problem.” By this, he did not mean evil. A wicked problem is one that defies solution because information about it is incomplete and contradictory. Feedback is difficult to recognize and may not be meaningful and requirements are always changing. He proposed we make it less wicked by making evidence-based decisions, recognize risk and commit to its management. Each fire is unique in some ways,but like others too. Fire managers need to share information and together become a learning organization.