Identifying and protecting wildfire refugia in a warmer, drier PNW

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The researchers report on creating an unburned area data set for the Inland Northwest from 1984 – 2014 and subsequent analyses using this dataset. Here are some of the key findings for this JFSP project:

  • Unburned area occurrence is consistent or stabilized to-date, with no evidence of increasing or decreasing trends under current climate conditions
  • Unburned areas are utilized by sage grouse and help maintain viable populations when these fire refugia are present
  • Persistent unburned islands are ecologically important areas and are related to specific topography and fuel type characteristics
  • Persistent unburned area attributes differ between forests and rangelands

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