Odds and Ends
3 12, 5:55am
I've worked for the Forest Service in California for the past few years (not in the fire division though). From what I understand, the fire suppression regime did a lot of damage to forest health and the effects are still ongoing. We had a few high intensity fires on our Forest last year and the year before. In some areas, the fire got so hot that it completely decimated entire drainages. Even two years later, there has not been any regrowth of trees in some areas. Instead, the manzanita and whitethorn (which is in the same genus as lilac) have started coming in. When these plants colonize an area, they tend to really take over, which means that tree seedlings can't really get a foothold. So the high intensity fires, which are fed by the dense understory, lead to high brush recruitment, which can fuel more high intensity fires. There are plans to clear out the brush and plant trees in these areas, but the process is moving pretty slow.