Why Large Fires are an Ecological Necessity

by Monica L. Bond, Chad T. Hanson and Dominick A. DellaSala in CounterPunch

This winter California suffered its most severe drought in decades, with record-low rainfall and meager mountain snowpack.  Drought, high summer temperatures, and wind together make the perfect storm for what some have termed “mega” forest fires that, in spite of fire suppression activities, sweep across the landscape and end only when winds die down and weather cools off.  The western U.S. may be facing another year of large fires, as these typically follow drought.  So why aren’t we, as wildlife and forest scientists, worried?

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