Benefits of wildfires: how low-impact fires promote regrowth

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 8:30 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The impact of fires on our wildland areas can be vastly different depending on the intensity of the flames.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says many areas of the Caldor Fire have been of low intensity. Low-impact fires are beneficial by burning the buildup of organic debris providing nutrients for the soil and promoting regrowth.

Pine trees also benefit from the fire. The heat encourages the cones to open and the seeds are then able to be released.

Jason Holley, Supervising Wildlife Biologist for CDFW mentioned the type of fire happening for the Caldor Fire,

“Where it really sets in and blazes hot, and burns it to a moon-scaping situation, that’s not beneficial for the landscape; it’s going to cause erosion when the rains come and other issues with that level of fire intensity. But in the areas where it is not as intense, we will have those diverse habitats and will be able to get in there sooner than people think and enjoy from a recreation standpoint as well as a wildlife benefit standpoint.”

Holley said.

Prescribing fires in these landscapes can also reduce the severity of wildfire growth.

Holley said it is important we look at climate change and forest management practices.

For more information on the impacts of wildfires on the environment, click here.

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