Are Sierra Nevada wildfires getting worse now with climate change?

Los Angeles county fire helicopter makes a water drop to battle wild land fire call the Pine Fire in Wrightwood, Calif., on July 17. A late night brush fire broke out near the Mountain High ski resort Friday in the hills of the Angeles Forest.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, describe the increased frequency of wildfires in high elevations as 'yet another harbinger of climate change.'

Wildfires in California are burning at increasingly higher elevations, according to a new study, with scientists saying the phenomenon is another signal of approaching climate change that could also have implications for how forests are restored after fires.

The study, which analyzed 105 years of data, found that forest fires in the Sierra Nevada mountains rarely burned above the 8,000-foot elevation early in the 20th century. Fuel for fires were typically dryer and more abundant at lower elevations, but over the past three decades several fires each year have burned at or above the 8,000-foot elevation.


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