"Could ‘Smokey Beaver’ Help Fight Wildfires?"

"Science shows beavers make landscapes more resistant to wildfire and drought, inspiring a growing movement to partner with them against the worst effects of climate change."

"The Almeda Fire swept through the Southern Oregon communities of Phoenix and Talent in 2020, burning thousands of buildings and taking three lives. Part of the reason it was so devastating is that it burned right through the hearts of the towns along the Bear Creek Greenway, a greenbelt full of invasive blackberry bushes and other dried-out plants that acted as a wick.

Seven months after the fire, Jakob Shockey and Sarah Koenigsberg were searching the greenway for a furry critter that may have helped slow the flames.

“Oh, there’s a bunch of nibbling over here,” said Koenigsberg, pointing to teeth marks in the bark of a tree near the creek.

When you think of preventing wildfires, you probably think of Smokey Bear. But there’s another animal that plays a much bigger role in fighting and recovering from fire: beavers."

Aaron Scott reports for OPB November 13, 2021.

Source: OPB, 11/16/2021