San Diego Declaration on Climate Change and Fire Management

>> Read the Full Text  of the Declaration

Members of the Association for Fire Ecology adopted The San Diego Declaration on Climate Change and Fire Management at the 3rd International Fire Ecology and Management Congress in San Diego, California Nov. 13-17, 2006. The document was drafted by the AFE Board, submitted for peer review and group discussion, and formally ratified by participants at the 3rd International Fire Congress.

The San Diego Declaration makes a powerful statement by the fire science community that future land management activities must consider climate change, and makes recommendations for planning and management using the following considerations:

  1. Both fire and climate regimes interact with other natural processes to direct the formation of vegetation in ecosystem.
  2. Historical fire regimes have been disrupted in many ecosystems.
  3. Climate change may interact with other human activities to further change fire regimes.
  4. Climate change can lead to rapid and continuous changes that disrupt natural processes and plant communities.
  5. Changes in climate may limit the ability to manage wildland fire and apply prescribed fire across the landscape.
  6. Approaches to fire management that recognize the potential for greater variability and directional change in future climates may help to reduce ecological and societal vulnerability to changing fire regimes.

The Declaration makes specific recommendations for actions that managers can take in regards to: Fire and Ecosystem Management; Fuels Management; and Research, Education, and Outreach.