OSU research suggests Forest Service lands not the main source of wildfires affecting communities

National forests are more in danger of wildfires that spread from private lands than the other way around, researchers concluded in a study that turns a head on a common narrative in forest policy. The finding runs against a popular storyline among advocates for more intensive forest management: that overgrown national forests are a tinderbox waiting to light and need to be thinned and logged to reduce the risk to surrounding non-federal property. A better approach, researchers said, would be to put heavier emphasis on ways to make populated areas more resilient to wildfire, such as defensible space and fire-resistant construction.