Rim Fire

Like Fungi in the Bank: Sierra Nevada Forests Invest in Fire-Withstanding Fungi

The Rim Fire, sweeping through the Sierra Nevada in 2013, rendered 257,000 acres of vegetation into ash, razed whole stands of trees, and ranked as the third biggest wildfire in California history. But the conflagration also sparked a discovery, if you happened to be a mycologist running a field experiment in the area. UC Berkeley Ph.D. Read more about Like Fungi in the Bank: Sierra Nevada Forests Invest in Fire-Withstanding Fungi »

From the Spring 2016 War Stories issue of California.

Rim Fire Reprise Warning: Restoring Forests the Wrong Way May Fuel Future Fires

As the U.S. Forest Service finalizes plans to restore forests torched in last year’s Yosemite-area Rim Fire—the third largest in state history—conservationists are worried that the scheme skimps on environmental protection. Also concerned is one of the state’s top forestry experts, a UC Berkeley professor who warns that replanting trees the traditional way will simply sow the seeds for the next conflagration. Read more about Rim Fire Reprise Warning: Restoring Forests the Wrong Way May Fuel Future Fires »

Fire Fallout: Cal expert sees “cascading” loss of wildlife

From Mount Diablo to the Sierras, a significant portion of California’s woodlands are going up in smoke. The impacts on humans are, of course, distressing. And as we’ve reported, the trend of bigger, hotter wildfires bodes to change the essential composition of California’s wildlands: Mixed coniferous forests are likely to contract, while grasslands, chaparral and oak woodlands will probably expand. Read more about Fire Fallout: Cal expert sees "cascading" loss of wildlife »

To prevent another Sierra inferno, thin and clean forests

If a transcendent lesson is emerging from the Rim Fire, it’s this: we need to manage our forests aggressively, thinning thick stands of young trees and clearing deadwood on the forest floor. Doing so would reduce fuel in second-growth and third-growth coniferous forests—the kind of fuel that has driven the Rim Fire to become the fifth largest wildfire in the history of the state.

And it would be well worth the cost. Read more about To prevent another Sierra inferno, thin and clean forests »

Red-hot risk: how development in California’s wild lands places firefighters in greater peril

The Rim Fire, which by Friday was declared 32 percent contained, has already scorched more than 202,000 acres—destroying Berkeley-owned Tuolumne Family Camp, devouring prime acreage within Yosemite National Park, and menacing other camps and thousands of homes. Read more about Red-hot risk: how development in California's wild lands places firefighters in greater peril »

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