The Rim Fire

The Sierra Nevada’s Largest Fire in History and the Fourth Largest in California

Burnt hillside from the Rim Fire

Rim Fire News and Research

The Rim Fire – A Glimpse into the Future For California

In August of 2013 the Rim Fire began burning in the steep, rugged canyons of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. At more than 257,000 acres, the Rim Fire became the largest fire ever to burn in the Sierra Nevada, and the third largest on record in California. While the size and speed with which the Rim Fire spread was unprecedented in the Sierra, many scientists agree that these megafires will soon become the norm.

Due to decades of fire suppression and a changing climate, our Sierra Nevada forests have become overgrown, unhealthy, and extremely dry. The average size of a fire today is nearly five times the average fire from the 1970s, and California’s current drought conditions will only exacerbate the situation.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy has committed $1 million towards Rim Fire Recovery efforts, but so much still needs to be done to stabilize the forest and return it to a healthy ecological state. More information about recovery efforts can be found below.

Follow the links below to discover the range of impacts that the Rim Fire had on California, and understand that all of our Sierra forests are facing similar challenges. The Rim Fire was the first of its kind, but it certainly won’t be the last. 

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy had the opportunity to participate as a member of the advisory committee for the film, The Fire Next Time by Filmmakers Collaborative SF.

Rim Fire Facts

Rim Fire Fact Sheet

Rim Fire Forest Facts

Rim Fire GHG Emissions and Air Quality Impacts

Rim Fire Wildlife Facts

Rim Fire Recovery

In December of 2013 the Sierra Nevada Conservancy Board authorized $1 million for Rim Fire Restoration efforts. Staff are currently working with the Stanislaus National Forest, the Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions Group, and other local interests to identify projects that will restore forest and watershed health in the Rim Fire burn area.

In August of 2014 the Sierra Nevada Conservancy authorized a grant for the Rim Fire Springs Assessment which will assess the conditions of known and discovered springs within the Rim Fire perimeter to aid in restoration decisions. This project will be completed in partnership with the Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions Group and the Tuolumne River Trust, who will act as the fiscal agent and grant recipient.

On January 31, 2014 the Sierra Nevada Conservancy hosted a technical workshop focused on how to apply select landscape-scale ecological concepts to efforts to restore the Rim Fire post-burn landscape. Learn more about this workshop here.

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