Author: Christian

The Sierra Fire Kills More Than 35,000 Square Miles of Forest

The Sierra Fire Kills More Than 35,000 Square Miles of Forest

Nearly a third of southern Sierra forests killed by drought and wildfire in last decade, report

More than 35,000 square miles of Southern Sierra forest were killed by drought and wildfire in the last decade, according to a new report from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The study, which was released Monday, said that the loss of California’s forests has far outpaced the growth of population in the Sierra’s high country.

The report also found that in the 15 years leading up to 2012, the average annual rate of growth of the Southern Sierra’s population slowed from 4.4 percent to 3.8 percent.

“We will have to look at the human and economic costs of this to make sure we don’t drive these forests to the edge of extinction and we’re not at risk of losing these beautiful, diverse ecosystems,” said Bob Brown, a forestry official.

The report said that California’s forests are under increasing threat from drought and climate change.

About 35 percent of the forests in the Southern Sierra were affected by drought last decade, the report said.

In the same time period, the number of high-intensity fires in the Sierra increased from 47 to 89, and the number of severe wildfires — with winds reaching over 55 miles per hour — rose from 604 to 828.

The report was released as thousands of people gathered at a rally in front of a high-density fire containment center in Placer County.

Some people marched by, carrying signs with messages like: “Halt, restore and preserve the forest; stop the fire suppression.” Others chanted: “What are we waiting for, now?”

The rally, organized by the Sierra Interreligious Coalition for Racial Justice, was called after more than one hundred people died in the Black Forest fire in January.

The report says that the Black Forest fire was a combination of two factors — extreme moisture and a lack of forest management.

“We have a very dry year on the

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