Fire Ecology and Monitoring
Wildland fire is a natural process--it is an agent of change, not of good or evil. Many disturbance forces, including fires, floods, and earthquakes promote changes and have an impact in an ecosystem.
Fire Effects and Fire Monitoring
Yosemite's fire effects monitoring program studies the effects of fire and mechanical thinning on vegetation and fuels. Research plots are placed in prescribed burn, wildlife fire use, and mechanical treatment units prior to a fire or project. These plots are then studied after the burn or treatment to see what the ecological effects are. By monitoring the changes in vegetation during a prescribed burn, the prescription can be adjusted, if necessary, to achieve the desired results. By doing research such as this, we can learn if we are meeting fire management objectives.
Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.