The wildfires of August and September 2020 in the western part of the United States were characterized by an unparalleled duration and wide geographical coverage. A particular consequence of massive wildfires includes serious health effects due to short and long-term exposure to poor air quality.
Cloud-to-ground lightning with minimal rainfall (“dry” lightning) is a major wildfire ignition source in the western United States (WUS). Although dry lightning is commonly defined as occurring with <2.5 mm of daily-accumulated precipitation, a rigorous quantification of precipitation amounts concurrent with lightning-ignited wildfires (LIWs) is lacking.
Increases in fire activity and changes in fire regimes have been documented in recent decades across the western United States. Climate change is expected to continue to exacerbate impacts to forested ecosystems by increasing the frequency, size, and severity of wildfires across the western United States (US).
Contemporary and projected shifts in global fire regimes highlight the importance of understanding how fire affects ecosystem function and biodiversity across taxa and geographies. Pyrodiversity, or heterogeneity in fire history, is often an important driver of biodiversity, though it has been largely overlooked until relatively recently.
An increasingly important goal of federal land managers in seasonally dry forests of the western US is restoring forest resilience. In this study, we quantified the degree to which a thinning treatment in a dry forest of eastern Oregon restored aspects of forest resilience by focusing on key functional attributes of our study system.
The increasing frequency of wildfires has posed significant challenges to communities worldwide. The effectiveness of all aspects of disaster management depends on a credible estimation of the prevailing risk.
Fire suppression has become a fundamental approach for shaping contemporary wildfire regimes. However, a growing body of research suggests that aggressive fire suppression can increase high-intensity wildfires, creating the wildfire paradox. Whether the strategy always triggers the paradox remains a topic of ongoing debate.
Natural disturbances (wildfires, droughts, beetle outbreaks) shaped temperate forests for millennia, including dry forests of the western USA. Could they now best restore and adapt dry forests to climate change while protecting nearby communities?
This study examined the hydrological/meteorological controls on large wildfires > 10,000 acres (40.5 km2) during 2017–2020 in Northern California at spatial and temporal scales of the target wildfires’ occurrence or growth.