Day 1-1: Welcome | Jennifer Gray Thompson



The devastating impact of wildfires in the US has reached an alarming scale, instilling fear and concern among communities nationwide. These fires, indiscriminate in nature, show little regard for the wildland-urban interfaces (WUIs) that have become a dominant feature of our landscape. The urgency lies in understanding that these wildfires do not conform to traditional expectations and can pose a threat to areas previously believed to be immune from such disasters. The increasing destruction caused by these infernos demonstrates the urgent need for comprehensive strategies and proactive measures to mitigate their effects. 

Therefore, in the recent After the Fire Wildfire Recovery Summit held last September 26-28, 2023, frontline communities and wildfire prevention experts have come together to share best practices and hopefully make recovery efforts easier.

After the Fire CEO, Jennifer Gray Thompson, acknowledged the challenges facing rural communities and the inequities that persist within them. She also discussed the pillars of resilience; the importance of strengthening soft infrastructures such as community organizations and social services in response to climate disasters; innovations in wildfire prevention, response, and insurance issues; the urgency of addressing ongoing challenges like magical thinking, incorrect wildland management, and outdated housing stock; and the importance of building climate resilient housing and infrastructure to better cope with increasing wildfire threats.