There's an Upside to Yosemite Wildfire
It could restore the forest's ecosystem back to its natural state
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
A firefighter walks through a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park.   (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mike McMillan)

(Newser) – The Atlantic goes looking for some silver lining to the Yosemite wildfire, and finds this: Carl Skinner, a US Forest Service ecologist, has discovered that the forest has been altered over the past 100 years due to human intervention into naturally occurring forest fires, becoming less diverse. So the current Rim fire could "reboot" the system back to its historical roots, allowing for a wider variety of habitats where long-dormant plants can once again thrive.

"If you have a living forest, getting older and older, it’s not something we have an option to conserve in an unchanging way,” says an ecologist from Colorado State University. “Some fires are going to be necessary if we want to sustain these old forests.” It's not quite that simple, though, says Skinner—this fire isn't natural and could be so intense that it damages seeds and tree roots to the point of no return. In other fire-related silver lining, the blaze is now 80% contained, and the evacuation order has been lifted in several nearby communities, reports the AP.

My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
There's an Upside to Yosemite Wildfire is...
3%
65%
1%
23%
1%
7%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 19 comments
HMD-SMD-ITY
Sep 4, 2013 3:52 PM CDT
Yellowstone's glacier melted 13,000 years ago because Earth warmed up. Why did Earth warm up and also melt the Great Lakes glaciers? Hmm, why did that happen. No industrial revolution, no fossil fueled vehicles. Oh, could it be that it was a global warming cycle from the previous cooling cycle? Hm, where does one go to find out that info? Maybe NOAA has the clue. Is there some place we can look? Oh, we have an ice core we can look at. Oh, Vostok ice core says cooling and warming is cyclical. So what cycle are we on now? Sadly for us humans, its the high side of warming and it won't get better for another 1500 years. Sorry humans, you loose.
Riffran
Sep 4, 2013 12:53 PM CDT
Alright alright....you KNOW there is going to be some big ole boy waiting for the fire, with a big 800lb hog on a spit and bucket of sop, and a case of Natty light! "I needs me some real far (fire) to cook this ole hog here YEEEEEEHAW BRING IT" (sadly I have a few cousins that might just fit that description...Okies *sigh* )
Crotalus
Sep 4, 2013 12:42 PM CDT
Just wait until the world starts feeling the effects of all the thousands of animal species mankind has removed from the face of this planet in the last couple of hundred years. This little forest fire is going to seem like a single match burning on a comparison level of what is heading towards the human race. Better get your heads out of your asses nations if you want your grandchildren to live in a harmonious, balanced world.