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The Future of Wildfire

APril 19-21, 2018

Missoula, MT



IJNR welcomed 22 journalists to Missoula on April 19-21, 2018, for a workshop exploring the ecological, economic, social, and public health impacts of wildfire, and discussing what the future might hold.

Participants had the opportunity to:

  • Hear from fire scientists about the latest research and modeling  - and how new breakthroughs are shaping our understanding of how fire behaves.
  • Talk with climate scientists about predictions and scenarios - are longer fire seasons and hotter summers the new normal?
  • Speak with public health experts about heretofore unprecedented smoke exposure in rural communities, how duration and density contribute to public health crises, and what can be done to mitigate these impacts.
  • Learn from economists about the financial toll of wildfires, on the federal, state, and local level.
  • Hear from researchers about proactive steps the public can take - from landscape maintenance to fire-savvy building techniques.
  • Meet with the firefighters and foresters tasked with battling fires - and trying to mitigate their severity before they even start. 
  • Discuss what we as journalists can do better in our coverage of wildfire.
  • Get out on the landscape to see forest management practices implemented in real-life scenarios. 


The mission of  the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources is to advance public understanding and civic engagement about environment, natural resource, public health and development issues through better journalism. IJNR conducts expenses-paid, expedition-style training and professional development programs for journalists at all career stages and from all sorts and sizes of news outlets, ranging from newspapers and magazines to radio, television and online operations. 

This program was generously supported by The Wilburforce Foundation, The Cinnabar Foundation, and individual donors. 


IJNR maintains editorial independence and control in all of its programming and decision-making.