Can forestry reduce wildfire risk?

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What needs to be done?

Wildfires are part of a forest’s natural lifecycle but they are becoming more frequent and severe as a result of climate change. In 2023, Canada experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, with fires consuming over 16.5 million hectares of land, twice the previous record set in 1989 and over 6.5 times the national average of area affected. With the rate of climate change projected to grow 10 to 100 times faster than our forests can migrate naturally, we need to be working with our forests to help them better adapt to these changing climate conditions and minimize the impact of wildfires.


More frequent, intense, and damaging wildfires are a critical challenge for many communities across Canada and one of the foremost dangers associated with our changing climate. Sustainable forest management can proactively increase natural resilience through active monitoring and adjusting harvesting schedules to favour trees more susceptible to wildfire. By removing the decay and debris such as dead grass, leaves, twigs, and other tree parts that can accelerate these natural disasters, preventive actions also help regenerate harvested areas with trees that are better adapted to future climate conditions, building future resiliency while mitigating immediate risk.  

To protect our communities’ safety, reduce emissions from fires, and keep our forests healthy, we need government to recognize the role active forest management can play in reducing wildfire risk. Canadians need support for an investment in a proactive approach to wildfire mitigation that reduces the likelihood and severity of wildfires now.

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