Philip Higuera

Philip Higuera

Philip Higuera is a professor in the department of ecosystem and conservation sciences at the University of Montana, where he directs the PaleoEcology and Fire Ecology Lab, funded largely from the National Science Foundation and Joint Fire Science Program. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in fire and disturbance ecology, and he advises graduate students and post docs.

Smoke from wildfires in western Alaska turns the Anchorage sky cloudy and the setting sun, seen from Earthquake Park on the night of June 12, a glowing red. Smoke obscures the outline of the mountains on the other side of Cook Inlet. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

The West’s iconic forests are increasingly struggling to recover from wildfires

By: , and - March 6, 2023

Wildfires and severe drought are killing trees at an alarming rate across the West, and forests are struggling to recover as the planet warms. However, new research shows there are ways to improve forests’ chances of recovery – by altering how wildfires burn. In a new study, we teamed up with over 50 other fire […]

A home burns after a fast moving wildfire swept through the area in the Centennial Heights neighborhood of Louisville, Colorado, on Dec. 30, 2021. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Western wildfires destroyed 246% more homes and buildings over the past decade

By: , , and - February 1, 2023

It can be tempting to think that the recent wildfire disasters in communities across the West were unlucky, one-off events, but evidence is accumulating that points to a trend. In a new study, we found a 246% increase in the number of homes and structures destroyed by wildfires in the contiguous Western U.S. between the […]