Non-profit

Megafire Action

Website:

www.megafire.org

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Type:

Environmental Advocacy Group

Formation:

2022

CEO:

Matt Weiner

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Megafire Action is a California-based advocacy organization that seeks to end so-called megafires, or wildfires that burn 100,000 acres or more. The organization believes that wildfires can be prevented through controlled burns and increased investments in wildfire prevention.  1 2

Megafire Action was co-founded and is run by Matt Weiner, a longtime Democratic Congressional staffer. 3

Activities

Megafire Action asserts that wildfires that burn over 100,000 acres or more, which it calls “megafires,” are becoming increasingly common, especially in California. The organization states that 18 of the 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred in the last 20 years. Megafire Action advocates for policies including preventive managed burns and improvements of systems to detect, track, and predict wildfire behavior. The organization asserts that policymakers, firefighters, and the public can learn from indigenous cultures who have long used fire management techniques such as “good fire” to balance ecosystems. Megafire Action also believes wildfires have not been adequately studied like other natural disasters, including hurricanes and tornadoes, and that by advancing “wildfire science,” communities can predict, detect, and prevent megafires. 4 5

Megafire Action seeks to end the incidence of Megafires within a decade through three goals. First, the organization wishes to enact policies to treat millions of acres of areas at high risk of wildfires by 2031. Megafire Action promotes the idea that there is a “suppression bias” where most authorities immediately suppress less-extreme wildfires, creating the conditions for more extreme wildfires later that contribute to climate change. Second, the organization argues to fix problems it perceives in the forest service workforce and streamline forest management regulations. Third, Megafire Action wants to double federal funding for scientific research into wildfires. 6 7 8

People

Matt Weiner is the CEO and co-founder of Megafire Action. Weiner was previously an advisor at Convective Capital, the executive director of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, a senior policy advisor for U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), a legislative director for former U.S. Representative Susan Davis (D-CA), a legislative assistant for former U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) where he was the climate and environment advisor, and chief of staff to California State Senator Henry Stern (D). Weiner founded Megafire Action after becoming frustrated while working for the U.S. Congress that there was no advocacy organization focused exclusively on wildfires. 9 10 11

Molly Hausmann is the COO of Megafire Action. Hausman was previously the COO and then CEO of Interra and the assistance vice president at Oppenheimer Funds. 12

Kate Dargan Marquis is a board member of Megafire Action. Marquis was previously the California state fire marshal. 13

Partnerships

Megafire Action partners with IDW Studios to produce creative content. IDW helped Megafire Action produce its name, a logo, and a preliminary website. IDW also collaborates with Megafire Action to create a network of photographers and videographers to document wildfires. In 2023, IDW Studios produced a presentation on wildfire solutions for Megafire Action co-founder George Whitesides to present at TED. 14

Megafire Action also partners with Blue Forest, a left-of-center nonprofit organization that finances conservation efforts. 15 16

References

  1. “Megafire Action.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.megafire.org/
  2. “Megafire Action.” Megafire Action. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.megafire.org/
  3. “Matt W.: Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-w-23965619/details/experience/.
  4. “Megafire Action.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/company/megafire-action/about/.
  5. “Megafire Action.” Megafire Action. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.megafire.org/
  6. “Megafire Action.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/company/megafire-action/about/.
  7. Kredier, Mark et. al. “Fire suppression makes wildfires more severe and accentuates impacts of climate change and fuel accumulation.” Nature Communications. March 25, 2024.
    Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-024-46702-0.
  8. “News & insights.” Megafire Action. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.megafire.org/in-the-news.
  9. “Matt W.: Experience.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-w-23965619/details/experience/.
  10. “About.” Megafire Action. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.megafire.org/about.
  11. Logan, Erin. “Essential Politics: A New group wants to avert the ‘mega-fire crisis.’” Los Angeles Times. September 21, 2022. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-09-21/essential-politics-megafires-092022-essential-politics.
  12. “Molly Hausmann.” LinkedIn. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/molly-hausmann-9854855/.
  13. Logan, Erin. “Essential Politics: A New group wants to avert the ‘mega-fire crisis.’” Los Angeles Times. September 21, 2022. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.latimes.com/politics/newsletter/2022-09-21/essential-politics-megafires-092022-essential-politics.
  14. “Megafire Action.” IDW Studios. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://idw.studio/cs/megafire-action.
  15. Alvarez, Jessica. “Partner profile: Megafire Action.” Blue Forest. Accessed June 4, 2024. https://www.blueforest.org/our-impact/insights-news-resources/partner-profile-megafire-action/.
  16. “About.” Blue Forest. Accessed June 4, 2024.
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Megafire Action


Los Angeles, CA