The fire frequency-severity relationship and the legacy of fire suppression in California forests

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This study evaluated how divergence from historic (pre-Euroamerican settlement) fire frequencies due to a century of fire suppression influences rates of high-severity fire in five forest types in California. With some variation, results suggest that fires in forest types characterized by fuel-limited fire regimes (e.g., yellow pine and mixed conifer forest) tend to burn with greater proportions of high-severity fire as either time since last fire or the mean modern fire return interval (FRI) increases.

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