Friday, January 15, 2016

Decades of Research Shows Its Beneficial to Let Fires Burn

Tucked behind Half Dome, the Illilouette Creek Basin in Yosemite National Park serves as one of just three areas in California where wildfires have been left to burn, for the most part, for decades.

Photos of the area from years before the fires showed a thick, continuous forest canopy “because of 100 years of suppression,” he said. “Today there are gaps — 3- to 4-acre openings throughout.”  In short, researchers have learned that allowing fires to burn tends to lead to more resilient forests, with smaller future fires and lessened impacts on the environment.
Now, in the midst of California’s record-breaking drought, and the devastating wildfire season that came with it this year, these fire researchers, are using what they’ve learned to urge officials to re-evaluate the way they manage wildfires.  Read more here.

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