- Author: Kat Kerlin, UC Davis
Study finds resilient, frequent-fire forests have far fewer trees
What does a “resilient” forest look like in California's Sierra Nevada? A lot fewer trees than we're used to, according to a study of frequent-fire forests from the University of California, Davis.
More than a century ago, Sierra Nevada forests faced almost no competition from neighboring trees for resources. The tree densities of the late 1800s would astonish most Californians today. Because of fire suppression, trees in current forests live alongside six to seven times as many trees as their ancestors did — competing for less water amid drier and hotter.../h2>
- Author: Susan Kocher and Ryan Tompkins
Californians have been concerned about wildfires for a long time, but the past two years have left many of them fearful and questioning whether any solutions to the fire crisis truly exist.
The Dixie Fire in the Sierra Nevada burned nearly 1 million acres in 2021, including almost the entire community of Greenville. Then strong winds near Lake Tahoe sent the Caldor Fire racing through the community of Grizzly Flats and to the edges of urban neighborhoods, forcing the evacuation of tens of...
Many of us know May for flowers and Mother's Day (hope you didn't forget!), but after last year's widespread and long-lasting fire season, many Californians have come to recognize May as Wildfire Preparedness Month. Our lackluster winter in Northern California underscores the necessity for wildfire preparedness as we embark on our seasonal drought typical of Mediterranean climate summers. Just as many in the mountainous West prepare for winter storms by squirreling away firewood, cleaning rain gutters, and taking down the patio furniture, we also must prepare for summer wildfires in analogous ways: clearing dead leaves and debris from our homes, removing the firewood from the deck, and yes, cleaning those gutters...
- Author: Ryan E Tompkins
Have you given your favorite tree a hug lately? Perhaps you would rather plant a tree? Well, on March 21, International Forest Day, Californians have a good excuse to do both.
In the first two decades of this new century, fire is having a transformative effect on California forests. Fires are burning with larger proportions of high severity and these high-severity patches are much larger, in many cases exponentially larger than would have occurred under natural fire regimes. This creates landscapes where all living trees – and potential seed sources for the next forest – have been killed. While...