How to Determine Burn Severity After a Wildfire

Article Written by:
Yvonne Barkley, University of Idaho Extension, Moscow, ID



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It is important to determine the burn severity of a wildfire as many post-fire assessment and management decisions will be based on this information. Plant mortality, regeneration and reproduction are closely tied to how hot and how long a wildfire burns and will determine the make-up of post-fire plant communities. Burn severity also effects wildlife habitat, changes in the soil, erosion potential and many components of aquatic environments.