In the last 20 years, forest fires in the Sierra Nevada, wildfires have grown significantly bigger, hotter and more frequent, according to new data written about in today's San Francisco Chronicle.
The study compared data from the past 21 years to pre-Colonial times and found the forests are significantly different and more fire-prone now than they were. The number of crown fires, considered the most severe, increased from 15-20% of large fires to 25% just during the two decade study period.
The forest is being damaged in ways not seen in earlier fires -- with bigger expanses left treeless, and larger areas taking longer to recover, leading to rapid erosion of soil. The reason? Hotter weather leading to less mountain snowpack, and fire-suppression techniques that have led to a build up of tinder-dry wood, according to the researchers.
Wildfire Photos submitted by The Daily Green Community to Weird Weather Watch
Tahoe fire, Sierra sunset
Lake Tahoe Fire
South Lake Tahoe on Fire
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