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Surprises and Lessons from the 1988 Yellowstone Fires

Monica G. Turner, William H. Romme and Daniel B. Tinker
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Vol. 1, No. 7 (Sep., 2003), pp. 351-358
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/3868187
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3868187
Page Count: 8
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Surprises and Lessons from the 1988 Yellowstone Fires
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Abstract

The size and severity of the fires in Yellowstone National Park in 1988 surprised ecologists and managers alike. Much has been learned about the causes and consequences of crown fires from studies of the Yellowstone fires, and some results were surprising. Plant cover in burned areas was restored rapidly by native species, making post-fire rehabilitation generally unnecessary and possibly even counterproductive. While 20th-century fire suppression has affected systems like Yellowstone far less than other ecosystems, managing forests, people, and property in wildfire areas is an ongoing challenge. Insights gained and lessons learned from the Yellowstone fires may be applied elsewhere and can help inform fire policy.

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