Farming Through Wildfire Season

The Key Role of Farmers in Building Wildfire Resilience

By: Katie Brimm and Natalia Pinzón Jiménez

Wildfire becomes more a part of agriculturalists’ (farmers, ranchers, orchardists, grazers etc.) lives across the world everyday. Climate change, combined with years of fire suppression policies, have brought an unsettlingly new normal of increasingly devastating wildfires. The size, longevity and intensity of these fires is rapidly increasing, with record breaking fire seasons every year – a trend expected to continue. On top of that, drought conditions mean hotter and drier weather such that, in many areas, we now have a year-round fire season. Conditions like these put agriculturalists, and thus, our local food systems, at unprecedented risk.

Each year, tragic stories of farmers losing everything haunt communities of small scale, sustainable farmers as producers are faced with severe property, crop, livestock, labor and market losses. Yet with livelihoods tied to a reciprocal relationship with nature, farmers and ranchers are key players in building large-scale resilience in a rapidly changing world.

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