Fire MitigationHuman Impact
Fire is devastating to desert plants, certain species of which may require 50 years or more to return to pre-fire densities. However, fire is a natural process, and Joshua Tree National Park sees many lightning-caused fires annually. Unfortunately, human activities may be contributing to the increased frequency and severity of fires, which now spread faster and burn more intensely because of the introduction of non-native plant species.
At Joshua Tree, our current plan provides for full suppression of all fires, including those naturally caused, and the key to managing fire in the park is in understanding how wildfires affect vegetation and wildlife in a desert environment. Biologists are monitoring the long-term consequences of fire in desert ecosystems, as well as the effectiveness of treatments designed to hasten recovery, and JTNPA is proud to provide laptops and other technological equipment to enable this important work to continue.