Wildfire spread more likely where trees, shrubs replace grasses

A wildfire modeling study, led by UF forest management researcher Victoria Donovan, found that the risk of spot fires, which occur when lofted sparks ignite foliage or buildings, increases in places where woody plants like shrubs and trees replace herbaceous plants like grasses.

The study indicates that prescribed burning reduces the amount of fuel and is therefore a proactive tool for mitigating spot fire risks.

Although conducted in Nebraska, the study applies to other areas in the United States experiencing transitions from grasses to woody plants.

Read more about the study here.

Kirsten Romaguera May 18, 2023