Study of massive California wildfire provides insights

Dec 17, 2014 7:29 PM by News Staff

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Researchers say a fierce wildfire that scorched part of Yosemite National Park burned less intensely in places that had recent fires.

The U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday that it studied the Rim Fire, which last year burned 400 square miles of the Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite's backcountry and private timber land. It was the largest fire in the Sierra Nevada range's recorded history.

Researchers say they were able to take advantage of studies done on the makeup of Yosemite's forests three years earlier, providing a rare point of comparison.

They say the study supports the effectiveness of controlled burning to reduce extreme fires.

But the study also says that once fires turn into storms of smoke, gas and ash that race across treetops, they are almost impossible to contain.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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