Ignition Point: The Underappreciated Influence of Indigenous Burns

Ignition Point: The Underappreciated Influence of Indigenous Burns

In both the present and the past, it is clear that humans have had a strong effect on why, where, and how forests burn. Recently, LIM researcher Dr. Cameron Naficy found some clues in the Southwestern Foothills showing that Indigenous cultural burning was likely a stronger influence on this landscape than previously documented in the academic literature. In this post, we share some context for the different ignition sources of Alberta wildfires and present a sneak peek into some of Dr. Naficy’s early findings.

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A Wildfire Story: Decoding the Past with Tree Scars

A Wildfire Story: Decoding the Past with Tree Scars

Disturbances like fires and insect infestations literally leave a mark on trees, creating scars in annual tree rings. Since our research team is interested in the fire history of the landscape, we need to be able to tell fire scars reliably apart from scars left by insects. With two full field seasons now in the books, Dr. Cameron Naficy’s Fire Regime Team have become local experts in this challenging task. In this post, we describe the challenges of distinguishing scar types, provide some insights on how our team solves these puzzles, and explore the important connections between insects and fire.

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