Stories Related to Here's What Cheatgrass Is, And Why It Holds So Much Fire Risk

Cheatgrass is a fire risk because it can blanket entire swaths of the landscape which then become flammable as the thin blades dry out.        

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  • Bromus tectorum
    In some cases, cheatgrass has expanded as a result of overgrazing, while in other cases intensive grazing has removed perennial grass fuels and reduced the ability of fire to spread, thus impeding the cheatgrass/fire cycle (see Successional Status and Fire Ecology for more information on the cheatgrass/fire cycle). A study in northern Utah indicates that cheatgrass is most invasive on mid-elevation sagebrush and shadscale sites on benches where livestock grazing and fires are common, and is ...
    12/3/2020 - 4:19 pm | View Website
  • Got cheatgrass? Here's how to kill it and get your ...
    Unless animals remove the fuel, nature takes it out with lightning-caused fires. With excess fuel, a fire burns hot enough to destroy both annual and perennial plants; the former grass-shrub plant community is replaced by invasive annual grasses like cheatgrass and medusahead.
    12/3/2020 - 2:25 pm | View Website
  • Why Is Cheatgrass Bad?
    Cheatgrass dries out much earlier than native vegetation, significantly lengthening the historic fire season. Plus, cheatgrass has very fine leaves and stems, which makes it ignite easily and causes fire to spread rapidly. Cheatgrass plants also grow very close together (up to 10,000 plants in a square-meter), creating a continuous fuel base. Basically cheatgrass is comparable to tissue paper covering the landscape — an easily-ignited fuel that carries fire quickly and spreads it rapidly.
    12/3/2020 - 4:59 am | View Website
  • This Invasive Species Is Fueling Western Wildfires ...
    Cheatgrass dies just in time for a typical fire season to start and is an extremely flashy fuel—one that can turn a simple lightning strike or discarded cigarette butt into a raging inferno in minutes. When cheatgrass dominates an area and a fire gets started, it is almost equivalent to spreading gasoline across the surrounding vegetation.
    12/2/2020 - 4:49 pm | View Website
  • In Arid West, Cheatgrass Turns Fires Into Infernos : NPR
    Once it has moved in, cheatgrass becomes a fire hazard. The plant sets down roots early in spring and grows fast, filling in areas between native juniper or pinyon trees or sagebrush. When it dies...
    12/2/2020 - 7:45 am | View Website
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