The Sierra Nevada’s Largest Fire in History and the Fourth Largest in California
Rim Fire News and Research
- New Study: Rim Fire emissions estimated to equal annual emissions of 2.57 million cars.
- New Study: Evidence of fuels management and fire weather influencing fire severity in an extreme fire event. “Our results show that fuels treatments and low to moderate severity wildfire can reduce fire severity in a subsequent wildfire, even when burning under fire growth conditions. These results serve as further evidence that both fuels treatments and lower severity wildfire can increase forest resilience.”
- Video about Lessons Learned in the Rim Fire. In addition, CSAC’s Michael Sweet posted this blog entry about visiting the Rim Fire burn area.
- Grant authorized by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy for the Rim Fire Springs Assessment.
- Plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction in the Rim Fire Project case denied. Read the court document here.
- “Rim Fire salvage logging decision balances competing issues,” opinion piece by the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center.
- Rim Fire Interactive map now available!
- More news on Rim Fire recovery efforts.
- More 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
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.