WASHINGTON (AP) — Across the United States, invasive grassland species are helping to increase the frequency of wildfires, especially in a burn-prone state of California, a new study revealed. Twelve non-native species act as “incendiaries,” according to study co-author Bethany Bradley, professor of environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts.
Wherever the Mediterranean zacate invades, including the Southern California desert, the fire burns three times as often. And the spikelet, which covers about a third of the region known as the IntermontanE West, is an important fire factor, Bradley explained. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if invasive grasslands play a role in the current fires, but I don’t think we can attribute them directly to them,” said Bradley.Phil Dennison, a Fire Expert at the University of Utah who was not involved in the investigation. He said the study’s findings make sense.” In several ways, California has been a starting point for invasive grasslands. Much of California’s native meadow is replaced by annual Mediterranean herbs more than a century ago,” Dennison said. “This study doesn’t focus on invasive grasslands in areas that are on fire in California, but invasive grasslands contribute to the fires there.” Experts claim that areas of California that are currently ravaged by flames are made up more of shrubs and grasslands than forests, despite what President Donald Trump tweeted about it over the weekend.” This is a global problem,” warned Mike Flannigan, a fire expert at the University of Alberta who was also not part of the study. “I think that with climate change and human aid we are moving into a world of grasslands. One region they should have mentioned is Hawaii, where wildfires are increasing largely because of invasive grasslands.”