By Montana Grant

Posted: May 23, 2019

To many forest fires too often is bad for our forests. A recent study in Yellowstone Park saw the lodgepole pines go up in smoke too soon.

The main deadly fire of 1988 did a great deal of damage to the park’s forests. The good news was that it takes fire to make the pinecones explode and spew their seeds for the next generation.

What the study showed was that it takes around 30 years for the forests to be strong enough to withstand a second burn. Many trees were reburned in 2016 and last year. The reburned forests were not quite 30 years old.

Our regions forests could change significantly with more frequent burns. Our “warming world” could lead to shorter fire intervals. This would change the forested park, with Lodgepole Pines, into more of a grassland area.

Younger forests burn differently than older ones. These smaller trees have yet to produce the number of cones needed for reproduction. These more youthful forests burn hotter and destroy more trees and seeds.

One thing is for sure. Our world is constantly changing!

Montana Grant

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