From the Alaska Climate Change Adaption Series.
Wildfires are a natural part of the boreal ecosystem. Wildfires help maintain vegetation diversity, providing suitable habitats for wildlife, but wildfires can also present a threat to human values. Alaska has seen the frequency of large wildfire seasons increase recently, with four of the top 10 largest years (since 1940) occurring since 2004. How could changes in wildfire impact the ecosystems in Alaska? First, it is important to understand how and why the changes that are already underway are happening.