Skip to Main Content
Fire in the Sierra NevadaAuthor(s): Carl N. Skinner; Scott L. Stephens
Source: In: Murphy, Dennis D. and Stine, Peter A., editors. Proceedings of the Sierra Nevada Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-193. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 65-68
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
PDF: View PDF (180 KB)
DescriptionFire has been described as both a major ecological force necessary for long-term functioning of Sierra Nevada ecosystems and as one of the greatest threats to human and natural resources (SNEP 1996a). Fire has shaped the terrestrial ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada for millennia. Before the mid-1800s, fires generally were frequent and mostly of low to moderate intensity, from lower-elevation blue oak woodlands through upper-montane red fir forests (Skinner and Chang 1996). Modern fire regimes are highly altered from their historical character because of the combined effects of fire exclusion, logging, grazing, forest clearing, urbanization, and climate change. These highly altered fire regimes have fostered changing ecosystems, including commonly discussed increases in vegetation density and accumulation of detritus (fuel for fires) that support more high-intensity fires than occurred under historical conditions (Chang 1996; McKelvey and Busse 1996; McKelvey and others 1996; Skinner and Chang 1996).
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationSkinner, Carl N.; Stephens, Scott L. 2004. Fire in the Sierra Nevada. In: Murphy, Dennis D. and Stine, Peter A., editors. Proceedings of the Sierra Nevada Science Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-193. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture: 65-68
- Invasive exotic plant species in Sierra Nevada ecosystems
- Fire and fire surrogate study in the Sierra Nevada: evaluating restoration treatments at Blodgett Forest and Sequoia National Park
- Montane forests
XML: View XML