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Post Fire Grazing
The ecological repercussions of High Intensity Wildfire (HIW) can be almost as severe and catastrophic as the economic repercussions. From a purely ecological perspective Wildfire is a devastating force that impacts ecological systems at many levels; including soils, air water, animal systems and even the smallest micro biotic-systems which inhabit plants and soil.

 In the wake of High Intensity Wildfire,soils are sterilized and left bare, without vegetation. In areas effected by HIW erosive activity is likely to occur and vegetative cycles are inhibited. Furthermore, ecotones begin to shift from diversity towards monoculture. Bare,sterile soils are most conducive to fast growing opportunistic invasive plants. This is why post fire ecotones consist largely of exotic weeds and grasses. In many cases HI Wildfire can shift stable grasslands toward brushland. From and ecological and fire mitigation viewpoint this is disastrous. Brushland burns hotter than grassland and brush fire is more difficult to control than grass fire. What’s evident is the importance of post fire management, for ecological reasons and to mitigate the severity and or prevent future wildfire. What is required is an integrated approach to fuel management that treats fuels before they burn and subsequently after they have burned to prevent future HIW.

Post fire managed grazing utilizes the restorative function of grazing to rebuild soil and plant habitats while maintaining a more fire safe fuel environment. As fire inevitably stimulates seed banks, which in turn creates fuel; a post fire environment is an opportune time to manage future fuel loads and to modify the fuel environment before it shifts on its own.