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Rim Fire-New Reality of Climate Change?

The Rim fire burning near Yosemite National Park already is the state’s sixth largest fire ever recorded and it’s still growing.

Wilderness experts believe the refusal to address climate change is adding fuel to the fire.

Beth Pratt, California director for the National Wildlife Federation, has been watching the fire from her backyard in Midpines on the southwest entrance to Yosemite.

She says the smoke and flames have become an all-too-common sight and that she and her neighbors believe they’re living on the front lines of a new reality partially shaped by climate change.

click to listen to Beth Pratt

Pratt says it’s important to remember fire is not inherently bad and serves as a vital part of the forest ecosystem, but she says increasingly intense wildfires permanently change landscapes and give wildlife nothing to come back to.

Pratt says climate change disturbs the equilibrium of the forest. Once the intense fires are out, animals are unable to adjust to the changes in their habitat.

click to listen to Beth Pratt

Some of the animals impacted by the Rim fire include the Yosemite Great Gray Owl, the Pacific Fisher and frogs.

2 Comments

August 30, 2013

DrAnon

Hey, instead of CHARGING and PROHIBITING citizens from picking up dead firewood on public lands, why don't we reward people who keep the fuel wood off the forest floor by PAYING them for every cord collected? It only took around 100 years using primitive technology to log every old growth tree out of sight.. it would take no time at all for some profit seekers to do the same for a righteous cause. Once again, government becomes the problem to our solution. Keep paying your Calfire assessment so we can pay to fight fires fueled by forests that have been neglected and mismanaged as a feel good tool for environmentalists. Either we burn the wood in our stoves, or the forest will do it for us.

August 30, 2013

calicath

Well said DrAnon!

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