Let’s be clear: forests burn regardless of human presence. Ecological research has revealed there is a natural rhythm to the cycle of forest fires.

We have built our towns, cities, industries, roads, and critical infrastructure in the middle of the ever-present forest. We got ourselves in the path of a regularly occurring natural destructive cycle.

When a forest burns, an immense amount of energy is released. Uncontrolled, this energy has enormous destructive potential. To give you an idea, the 2018 fires in British Columbia released enough energy to power all of Canada for an entire year.

In the face of climate-changing, natural cycles of forest wildfires are being affected in ways we don’t yet understand. We must, therefore prepare our communities in Canada as best we can through improved forest management techniques.

Besides, utilizing the byproducts from these sustainable and responsible forest management techniques — namely biomass — can bring about economic opportunities, jobs, cleaner air, energy independence, and local food production. It also reduces reliance on fossil fuels in small communities that must use diesel generators to make electricity.

FPInnovations produced the video The Forest Will Burn (can be found on FPInnovations’ YouTube channel) that proposes a novel strategy to mitigate the destructive power of forest wildfires while harnessing the energy for constructive purposes.

To learn more about how you can apply this strategy in your community, you may reach out to Christoph Schilling at christoph.schilling@fpinnovations.ca.