Wildfire in an inherent part of life in southern California. It is both an essential element of our local ecology that contributes to the rich biodiversity of the region as well as a very real and dangerous threat to people and property. During this episode we’ll be joined by two wildfire experts: Dr. Jon Keeley, a fire ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Henry Herrera, a Forester with California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). We’ll take a deep dive into our local fire ecology, discuss what it’s like on the ground as a fire-fighter, and actions we can all take to create wildfire resilient communities.
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Dr. Jon Keeley is currently a research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, stationed at Sequoia National Park. Prior to this appointment, he served one year in Washington, D.C. as director of the ecology program for the National Science Foundation. He was professor of biology at Occidental College for 20 years and spent a sabbatical year at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has more than 350 publications in national and international scientific journals and books. His research has focused on ecological impacts of wildfires as well as other aspects of plant ecology, including rare plants, rare habitats such as vernal pools, and plant physiology. In 1985 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the California Botanical Society. He has served on the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Environmental Review Board, and the State of California Natural Communities Conservation Program (NCCP) Board of Scientific Advisors. (Bio from USGS)
Henry Herrera began his forestry career in the summer of 2004 with the Forest Service in the San Bernardino National Forest working as a wildland firefighter while attending forestry school at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. In 2005, Henry graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Natural Resources with a concentration in forest resources and urban forestry. Between 2004 and 2013 Henry worked on the San Bernardino, Cleveland and Sierra National Forests as a wildland firefighter, forester, and lands/special uses officer. In 2014 Henry took a job as the CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit forester and graduated from CAL FIRE’s fire academies. Since May of 2019, Henry has worked as the CAL FIRE Regional Urban Forester for Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Henry’s main experience has been with fuels/vegetation management, prescribed fire, reforestation, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), California Environmental Policy Act (CEQA), public information and working with underserved youth. Henry is a native of Southeast San Diego and currently resides in Riverside County with his wife, four-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. Henry is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) and Certified Arborist.
This program was made possible in part by Edison International.