Factors including extreme winds, topography and vegetation influenced the severity of burns from Oregon’s devastating 2020 megafires


In a new study examining burn patterns from the 2020 Labor Day fires, researchers studied the influence of weather, topography, vegetation and other factors on burn severity in areas where the fires killed more than 75% of the trees. Their research confirms that extreme winds over the Labor Day holiday were the primary driver of the destructive force of the fires yet demonstrates how forest vegetation structure (e.g., canopy height, the age of trees, etc.) and topography played a significant role in burn severity patterns.

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