Fire on the Olympic National Forest in western Washington. USDA Forest Service photo.
The rain-soaked, dense forests of the western Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington are iconic. From towering conifers to forest floors carpeted with sword ferns, west-side forests are known for their evergreen, wet conditions and infrequent wildfires. As the climate becomes warmer and drier, however, west-side forests are experiencing longer fire seasons, larger burns, and increased wildfire risk. These trends are expected to continue in the future as the climate changes. Through the West-Side Fire Research Initiative, the Pacific Northwest Research Station is working with partners to coproduce science and tools that will be used to help protect the health, safety, and economic well-being of communities in the region.
In this story map, learn more about the expected impacts of climate change on west-side forests in Oregon and Washington and how the West-Side Fire Research Initiative is working to provide needed information and tools to managers and decisionmakers.