College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

CNR Faculty and Students Combat Southern California Wildfires

November 5, 2007

From fighting wildfires in the field to predicting the role of the Santa Ana winds, CNR students and faculty have proven to be an invaluable resource in combating the more than a dozen fires that raged in Southern California in the past weeks.

Max Moritz, a fire ecologist and assistant professor of environmental science, policy and management, has been featured in The New York Times for his research on mapping the land susceptible to wildfires and USA Today describing homeowners’ roles in fighting and preventing wildfires.

Moritz, along with ESPM associate professor Maggi Kelly, is the creator of the Fire Information Engine toolkit, an online resource on wildfires for homeowners, researchers, and decision makers. The toolkit provides breaking news on fires as well as tips on how to protect homes and neighborhoods.

Rachel Smith, a doctoral student and fire ecology researcher at the Mortiz Lab, was also featured on NPR describing her firsthand experience fighting the fires. Smith was awarded the National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship this year.

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