As smoke lingered in the air amid another destructive California wildfire season, former Gov. Jerry Brown invited a group to his ranch for an urgent conversation: What more could be done to save California’s forests from wildfires?
The reality of what has become annual fire devastation for the state has become more a part of Brown’s life since he built his retirement home on a stretch of land where his great-grandfather settled in the 1850s, about 60 miles northwest of Sacramento.
The wooded area is at greater fire risk than places he’s lived before. Some small ones have cropped nearby and more destructive blazes have come within about 10 miles. When Brown convened the group of about 20 scientists, fire experts, forest product executives and others regularly engaged in discussion of wildfires, he’d recently spoken to a climate expert who warned California’s forests could burn up within two decades.