Wildfires burned more than 116,000 acres in Central Washington this fire season, leaving vast areas scorched and blackened. Although some areas burned so severely that the soil structure actually changed, in other areas the plants will come back — because they’re adapted to fire. Read more about forests’ ability to deal with fire; SEFS‘ David Ford is quoted.
A new study co-authored SEFS‘ Crystal Raymond finds that as much as 1/3 of the stored carbon in Washington’s forests will be lost to the atmosphere by 2040, as a result of climate change-induced increases in the area burned by wildfires. Read more here.
Navarre Fire, in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Check inciweb.org for details on fires.
It’s been a crazy fire season so far for the US. This is in part due to the warmer- and drier-than-average spring and summer experienced by most of the country. In fact, Washington is the only state that experienced near-normal temperatures for the 12-month period of June 2011-2012; we also had one of our wettest Junes on record. However, with the warming and drying that kicked off on Independence Day, wildfires are starting up around the state. Read more here.
2006 photo by J. Lutz. Glaciers and fires have influenced the landscape of the Sierra Nevada. Similarly, climate change and fires will continue to affect how the land - and air - hold carbon molecules.