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Takeover of Non-Native Plants One Result of Wildfire Cycle

One of the tragedies emerging after the fires is the destruction of wildlife habitat. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more on the toll the wildfires has taken on nature.

One of the tragedies emerging after the fires is the destruction of wildlife habitat. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has more on the toll the wildfires has taken on nature.

Some of the short, scrubby habitat that dominates San Diego's backcountry was just starting to recover from the Cedar Fires. Now much of that land has been burned again. The variety of shrubs and plants are collectively called chaparral.

David Hogan with the Center for Biological Diversity says the chaparral is being burned too often, letting non-native plants to take over.

Hogan : The non-native grasses are much more flammable and therefore much more dangerous to people than the chaparral. So we get into this horrible cycle of loss and destruction that has just as many harmful effects on people as it does on nature.

He says the burned chaparral should be restored. Hogan says burned areas should not be seeded because most seed mixes contain non-native weeds. He says prescribed fires should be stopped in native chaparral except for creating defensible space around homes and communities.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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