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The Yosemite Rim Fire Revisited – June 3, 2014

The forest is coming back to life; Forest Service plan to log there is a bad idea

After the massive Rim Fire occurred last year in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park of California’s Sierra Nevada, representatives from the U.S. Forest Service fanned the flames of fear and misunderstanding regarding wildland fire. In a news article published shortly after the fire was contained, a Forest Service official claimed that a 38,000-acre area was a “moonscape” that had been “nuked” by the Rim Fire, creating a lifeless environment where soils had been sterilized and nothing would grow. (By the time it was contained, the Rim Fire had affected 257,171 acres.) The Forest Service also claimed the high-severity burn covered some 63,000 acres and… more

by: Chad Hanson

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The Ecological Importance of California’s Rim Fire – August 28, 2013

Large, intense fires have always been a natural part of fire regimes in Sierra Nevada forests

Since the Rim fire began in the central Sierra Nevada on August 17, there has been a steady stream of fearful, hyperbolic, and misinformed reporting in much of the media. The fire, which is currently 188,000 acres in size and covers portions of the Stanislaus National Forest and the northwestern corner of Yosemite National Park, has been consistently described as “catastrophic”, “destructive”, and “devastating.” One story featured a quote from a local man who said he expected “nothing to be left”. However, if we can, for a moment, set aside the fear, the panic, and the decades of misunderstanding about wildland fires in our forests, it turns out that the… more

by: Chad Hanson

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