Calif. Forests Are Vanishing As Wildfires Burn Larger And More Intensely

"GREENVILLE, Calif. — A burn scar in Northern California offers an unsettling glimpse into what forests across the Sierra Nevada could become. Bare tree carcasses are strewn across the dun-colored hills. Rock outcroppings jut out like bones.

Two massive wildfires have torn through here over the last 15 years, burning with such intensity through so large an area that the conifer forest will likely be unable to regenerate on its own, experts say.

It’s a pattern that threatens to repeat across California’s most extensive and iconic mountain range as wildfires have increased in both size and severity over the last two decades.

“Because the last couple years have been so massive for fires, the forests don’t have a chance to keep up or recover in time,” said Jon Wang, an earth system scientist at UC Irvine. “There is an acceleration of the fire regime that is overwhelming these forests.”"

Alex Wigglesworth reports for the Los Angeles Times July 20, 2022.


Source: LA Times, 07/20/2022