"Since 2000, fire seasons have grown longer and the frequency, size and severity of wildland fires have increased"
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
A new report released by the US Forest service gathers the results of scientific researches conducted on the effects of drought on forests and rangelands to help authorities and local communities in developing mitigation strategies.
In particular, the report outlines that:
- Drought projections suggest that some regions of the U.S. will become drier and that most will have more extreme variations in precipitation.
- Even if current drought patterns remained unchanged, warmer temperatures will amplify drought effects.
- Drought and warmer temperatures may increase risks of large-scale insect outbreaks and larger wildfires, especially in the western U.S.
- Drought and warmer temperature may accelerate tree and shrub death, changing habitats and ecosystems in favor of drought-tolerant species.
- Forest-based products and values – such as timber, water, habitat and recreation opportunities – may be negatively impacted.
- Forest and rangeland managers can mitigate some of these impacts and build resiliency in forests through appropriate management actions.
For more information visit the US Drought Portal