Alaska Climate Change and Adaptation Series: Wildfire
Document Type: Fact Sheet / Brief / Bulletin
Author(s): University of Alaska Fairbanks, Cooperative Extension Service
Publication Year: 2013

Cataloging Information

  • boreal forest
  • carbon cycle
  • climate change
  • climate-fire interactions
  • fire regime
  • tundra
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: April 25, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 14899


Wildfires are a natural part of the boreal forest ecosystem. Fires are necessary for maintaining vegetation diversity and provide a diverse habitat for wildlife, but fires can also present a threat to human values. Alaska has seen a recent increase in the frequency of large fire years, with three of the top ten largest years (since 1940) occurring in the last decade. Over the past 50 years, Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States. Warmer temperatures have lead to longer snow-free seasons, changes in vegetation, and loss of ice and permafrost, all of which can contribute to longer and more active fire seasons. It is likely that the Alaskan boreal forest will experience some dramatic changes over the next century. Learning about these changes and their potential impacts can help guide us in planning for the future.

Online Link(s):
Link to this document (808 KB; pdf)
University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. 2013. Alaska Climate Change and Adaptation Series: Wildfire. ACC-00100. AFSC Research Brief 2013-5. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service. 4 p.