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Old 09-15-2009, 08:09 PM   #1
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Default Wildfires across the globe: impact on wildlife species as their world burns

Wildfires across the globe: impact on wildlife species as their world burns
September 1, 10:44 PM
Seattle Environmental Policy ExaminerJean Williams

Wildfires across the globe: impact on wildlife species as their world burns
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There are currently five independent wildfires burning around the Los Angeles area that are only 22% contained and has burned 140,000 acres. It could take more than a week to get under control. The smoke and soot have been felt as far away as Nevada and Colorado.
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Biologists from the California Fish and Game did a study of the 2008 forest fire impact on wildlife.

The research showed that effects on wildlife are based on the characteristics of the wildfire: season, frequency, extent, complexity, duration, intensity and severity. The impacts are either direct or more likely indirect. In many cases, it is the indirect effects that most impact wildlife, such as a lack of available food, water, and shelter.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:10 PM   #2
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Default CA- Wildfire Season and Wildlife

Wildfire Season and Wildlife

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/fire/
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California has experienced an overwhelming amount of fires this year. Many of the fires in the north state were started by lightning strikes. Although fire is a very necessary element to healthy wildlife habitats, fire can be devastating to individual animals. The following provides some essential information on wildlife and wildland fire. DFG is dedicated to promoting wildlife value while supporting the many state and federal efforts to protect life and property. DFG is working individually and as a member of multi-agency efforts to assess effects of fires to wildlife, rehabilitate wildlife when necessary, protect Wildlife Areas and Ecological Reserves and promote habitat and watershed restoration.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Debris Flows May Affect Southern California Communities

Debris Flows May Affect Southern California Communities
Released: 10/6/2009 8:19:19 AM

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192

USGS Release: Debris Flows May Affect Southern California Communities (10/6/2009 8:19:19 AM)
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PASADENA, Calif. – Rainstorms this year in the area burned by the Station Fire have the potential to trigger debris flows that may impact neighborhoods at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains as well as areas in Big Tujunga Canyon, Pacoima Canyon, Arroyo Seco, West Fork of the San Gabriel River, and Devils Canyon, according to an assessment released today by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Conditions in many of the watersheds burned by the fire indicated high probabilities of producing large debris flows in response to two possible rainfall scenarios. In these scenarios, portions of neighborhoods faced increased risk of inundation by debris flows...
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
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The only reason these fires are such a problem now is that they have been supressed for decades, allowing for a considerable build up of fuel load. If they had been allowed to do their seasonal thing...wildlife wouldn't be so affected. Yet another example of human interference gone wrong.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:01 PM   #5
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Have you ever heard of the cheatgrass-wildfire cycle?
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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Invasive grass fuels increased fire activity in the West
Matthew Swayne
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Penn State Live - Invasive grass fuels increased fire activity in the West
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"Over the past decade, cheatgrass fueled the majority of the largest fires, influencing 39 of the largest 50 fires," said Jennifer Balch, assistant professor, Penn State's Department of Geography and Earth and Environmental Systems Institute. "That's much higher than what it should be when you consider how much of the Great Basin that cheatgrass covers."

The average size of the fires in cheatgrass grasslands, which dominate only about 6 percent of the Great Basin, was significantly larger than the average fire in most regions dominated by other vegetation, including pinyon-juniper areas, montane shrubland and agricultural land.

In addition to targeting the influence of cheatgass on major fires, the researchers, who reported their findings in the online version of Global Change Biology, also found that...
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Default Cheatgrass and Wildfire

Cheatgrass and Wildfire
Colorado State University Extension

Cheatgrass and Wildfire
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The early-season growth habits of cheatgrass provide a competitive advantage by allowing it to grow tall and abundant before native species emerge. During years of high precipitation, this grass can produce more than 10,000 plants per square yard. Cheatgrass turns brown and dies by early summer leaving behind thick, continuous dry fuels and creating extreme wildfire hazards.

Though several components can affect flame length and fire spread, a typical cheatgrass fire on flat terrain with wind speeds of 20 miles per hour may generate flame lengths up to eight feet in height; the fire can travel more than four miles per hour. Grass fires are dangerous because they move quickly and grasses act as ladder fuels igniting larger and more volatile vegetation.

Due to these readily combustible characteristics, it is critical for those who live, play, or work in “cheatgrass country” to know not only how to identify and eradicate it, but also take precautions not to ignite it:

◊ Keep vehicles on well-maintained roads at all times. Fires can ignite as a result of hot car exhaust systems coming in contact with tall, dry fuels.
◊ Build...
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:36 PM   #8
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Just my thoughts on this....we can't keep studying cheatgrass to death.... I think it's safe assuming our $$$ would be better spent in collective efforts eradicating it. I think fire suppression is a part of what's going on out west but.... cheatgrass burns hot and it burns fast so it comes back with a vengeance after a fire thanks to a viable seedbank that's left intact. We know more than enough now to definitively classify cheatgrass as a highly invasive species in need of control, management, and eradication. It threatens homes and human life while gobbling up rangelands and obliterating native species in its path so exactly why are we still throwing $$$ into the seemingly endless research pot>>>?
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