A new study finds that invasive grass species make wildfires more frequent in much of the United States. Bethany Bradley, a professor of environmental conservation at the University of Massachusetts, state that there are 12 non-native species that act as “little arsonist grasses.”
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Wherever the common Mediterranean grass invades, including California’s southern desert, fires flare up three times more often. And cheatgrass, which covers about one-third of the Intermountain West region of the U.S., is a big-time fire promoter, Bradley said.
“I would not be surprised at all if invasive grasses are playing a role in the current fires,” Bradley said, “but I don’t think we can attribute to them directly.”
Head over at Los Angeles Times to know more about the study.
(Image Credit: Bethany Bradley/University of Massachusetts)