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Impact of forest thinning on wildfires creates divisions

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By DON THOMPSON

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There is more to it than thinning or not thinning. Not mentioned in the article is that fires are burning at higher elevations than ever before. As higher elevations receive less precipitation than before, the forests there are drying out where before they stayed cool and moist. Wet forests don't burn very well. Well watered trees also have lots of sap, sap that prevents bark beetles from getting in and laying eggs. Dry forests, whether in the western US or Germany are ripe for a bark beetle infestation and in time the forests death. Parts of Germany are experience mass die offs of spruce forests due to high temps and lack of moisture setting the stage for bark beetle infestations that kill the forests. Dead or dying trees in a dry forest burn much better than healthy moist trees in a damp forest.

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