By Shannon Perry
Soon after our animals returned from evacuation, we found ourselves hosting the raptors from the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center due to a brush fire. First responders did an amazing job of containing that fire to 19 acres and the birds returned to the center. It got me thinking about wildfire again.
As the effects of climate change increase, one that impacts our world is the growing length of the wildfire season. We may cringe at the idea of animals dying in fires, yet there is evidence that there are some animals that benefit from fire. Others are disadvantaged and their populations decline. In a study, fishers, western bluebirds, and cavity nesters increased in population, while mountain chickadees declined, as did spotted owls. Cavity nesters such as Lewis’ woodpeckers benefitted due to standing snags. However, salvage logging removes this habitat.
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