Maximum Fire Elevation in the Sierra Nevada Has Increased Over the Past Century: Research Brief

Using a geodatabase, researchers found that the maximum elevation extent of wildfires and the probability of wildfire occurrence above 3000 m have increased over the last century in the Sierra Nevada. This trend may accelerate vegetation shifts towards upper montane forest types in current subalpine systems. 

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 Photo courtesy of Sasha Berleman

Photo courtesy of Sasha Berleman

Schwartz, M., N. Butt, C. Dolanc, A. Holguin, M.Moritz, M. North, H. Safford, N. Stephenson, J. Thorne, and P. van Mantgem. 2015. Increasing elevation of fire in the Sierra Nevada and implications for forest change. Ecosphere 6(7): 121. DOI: 10.1890/ES15-00003.1.