Navigation Links
Study of wildfire trends in Northwestern California shows no increase in severity over time
Date:3/1/2012

REDDING, Calif.Even though wildfires have increased in size over time, they haven't necessarily grown in severity nor had corresponding negative impacts to the ecosystem, according to a recently published study appearing in the journal Ecological Applications.

A team of scientists from the USDA Forest Service and the University of California, Davis, assessed the size, severity and frequency of wildfires on four national forestsKlamath, Mendocino, Shasta-Trinity and Six Riversof northwestern California from 1910 to 2008 and their effects on the ecosystem. Fire severity is measured by its impact on resources such as watersheds, wildlife habitat, soils, vegetation and forest products. "High" severity patches within fires are areas where greater than 95 percent of the forest canopy was killed.

The study's key findings include:

  • Despite an increase in total acres burned, there was no trend in the proportion of fires burning at high severity, which indicates that fires have not been getting worse.
  • Most areas burned since 1987 have been at low to moderate severity.
  • The more area burned in a year, the less the proportion that burned at high severity.
  • Lightning-caused fires, which burned at lower severity than human-caused fires, accounted for 87 percent of the 1.6 million acres that burned in northwestern California from 1987 through 2008.
  • Human-caused fires dominated the first half of the 20th century, while lightning-caused fires have dominated the last several decades.

These findings suggest that fires burning under less than extreme fire weather and fuel moisture conditions could be used to attain ecological and management goals since they generally produce less than severe results. In other words, the fires that are easy to put out could actually be used to achieve management goals.

Researchers note that these findings may be unique to the Klamath Mountains where the study was conducted. The steep, rugged mountains in northwestern California present different environmental features compared to the Sierra Nevada where similar studies did show a trend of increasing proportion of high severity over time.

"As we can see from these findings, one size does not fit all when it comes to managing wildfires," says Carl Skinner, PSW geographer, who co-authored the study. "This study has some very important implications for fire and forest management policies. Our results support the idea that wildfires could be managed for ecological benefit in this bioregion."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sherri Eng
sleng@fs.fed.us
510-559-6327
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study shows earthworms to blame for decline of ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests
2. MU scientists study how to improve pesticide efficiency
3. Studying the importance of biological rhythms for the ecological performance of plants
4. Nowhere to hide: Study finds future of Sumatran tigers threatened by human disturbances
5. Cleveland Clinic Childrens Hospital launches study to genetically test for autism
6. Iowa State, Ames Lab chemists aid study of mutated plants that may be better for biofuels
7. UBC researcher invents lab on a chip device to study malaria
8. Ice Age coyotes were supersized compared to coyotes today, fossil study reveals
9. Coral reef study traces indirect effects of overfishing
10. Traces of listeria found in Vancouver ready-to-eat fish products: UBC study
11. Study IDs new marine protected areas in Madagascar
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2017)... 2017 Former 9/11 Commission border counsel and ... Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, today ... "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order gains ... banned the travel ban, it is important that our ...
(Date:2/8/2017)... 7, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE ), ... financial results for its quarter and year ended December 31, ... 2016 was $3.9 million compared to $6.9 million in the ... of 2016 was $0.6 million compared to $2.6 million in ... quarter of 2016 was $0.5 million, or $0.02 per diluted ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... , its innovative, highly flexible and award winning eClinical ... customers. iMedNet is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ... Data Capture (EDC), but also delivers an entire suite ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)...  Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), a biotechnology company developing ... that Linda Marbán, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, is ... Cowen and Company 37th Annual Health Care Conference ... Boston, MA 29th Annual ROTH ... pm ET) Dana Point, CA ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 ... ... for optics and photonics , have been named Fellows of the Society this ... and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging as ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Park Systems , ... AFM Luncheon for all SPIE attendees and Park customers on Feb. ... block from the San Jose Convention Center. The luncheon will feature a talk ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Washington, PA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... Omnia-Prova Education Collaborative (TOPEC), the leading medical education provider of women’s ... with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). ACCME’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: