In past decade, almost 78,000 fires have burned almost 7 million acres in the US and Texas is burning right now. There are several reasons for this: one of them has to do with climate change, but the other may be invasive plant species that have modified these landscapes, providing a fuel source that didn’t previously exist.
In the Great Basin region, which lies between the heavily-populated cities of Reno, Nevada and Salt Lake City, Utah, invasive cheatgrass has spread among sagebrush sites. As cheatgrass becomes dominant, this fine-textured, early-maturing fuel multiplies, increasing opportunities for igniting fires and bringing about more frequent burning. As the world warms up, farmers and ranchers need to change their ways.
Rather than adopt cheatgrass as an early-season forage that reduces hay costs, ranchers need to eradicate these invasive plants before they go up in flames, or else NOBODY will be able to go home again.
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