California Wildfires Essay

1987 Words 8 Pages
California Wildfires: A Burning Problem California, as of recent decades, has a warming relationship with wildfires. The state has seen an increase in wildfires which some believe to be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Climate change is expected to result in more variable weather patterns that are likely to lead to longer and more severe droughts (“Climate change”, 2016). Generally in late spring through autumn California has a dry, windy, and frequently hot climate. At times wildfires in California are stirred up from strong, dry winds called Diablo Winds in the north, and the Santa Ana Winds in the south. With two weeks left in the 2016 calendar year according to CAL FIRE, the state’s firefighting agency, we have observed a 47% …show more content…
Fire is very much a natural part of the ecological cycle. Some specific species of trees and plants rely on fires to provide conditions for seed germination. This is a process called serotiny, an adaption exhibited by some seed plants to release their seeds following exposure to heat (Lamont, 1991). Although birds are vulnerable to fires while nesting, they can often benefit from prey fleeing from a fire (Gosford, 2015). In the period immediately following a wildfire deer, moose, and elk thrive from enhanced growth of low-lying shrubbery (Forgacs, 1998). While there are few positive effects, wildfires have predominately negative impacts on the …show more content…
Wildfires can destroy wildlife habitat causing habitat fragmentation, diminishing timber and forestry health, polluting the air with carbon dioxide, dramatically altering watersheds, negatively effecting soil chemistry, and requiring large amounts of water during a drought to combat the fires. Habitat loss is the worldwide leading cause of loss of biodiversity, a metric used to describe species richness in a given area. More frequently, habitats in California are being degraded as the intensity of fires is changing, burning hotter than previous fires in the same area (Keely, 2009). For example, if a fire burns half a forest down not only is there half the original available space for all the organisms that previous lived in the entirety of the forest, but the half that was burned down now also takes longer to recover as

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