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Climate change and drought mortality increase fuel availability and the carbon cost of forest management

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Rising temperatures and more frequent droughts have resulted in widespread tree mortality, transitioning large amounts of live biomass to snags and coarse woody debris. These dead fuel loads are also drying out earlier and faster with climate change which increases the ease of fuel combustion when fire occurs. This increase in fuel availability has likely contributed to the unprecedented wildfire behavior we have seen in recent years and poses a challenge to the use of prescribed fire in areas with substantial tree mortality. Additionally, dead fuel loading from drought mortality has increased the amount of carbon released during second entry prescribed burns, requiring us to rethink the carbon costs associated with both initial and repeat prescribed burning.


January 25
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

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