New growth from the roots of a bush charred by a previous fire during the summer of 2003 in Mission Trails. This fire was dispatched quickly by our Emergency Service Personnel and only burned a few acres.
Southern California's Fire-Adapted Ecosystems
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Fires have always been a natural component of the earth’s ecosystems. As natural as wind and rain, fire helped create a patchwork of differing vegetation types. For millions of years in what is now North America, lightining and volcanic activity started fires, long before people came on the scene. Later, Indians regularly burned the vegetation to open up an area and to favor plants that attract game animals. These natural and human-caused fires have helped select vegetation types that tend to depend on fires for their existence.In these ecosystems, the plants and animals have many adaptations that help them survive and reestablish after fires.
Chaparral, found in central and southern California, is one plant community often impacted by fire. Typical chaparral plants include manzanita, ceanothus, chamise, and scrub oak, along with herbs and grasses. This community contains plants that are well-adapted to fire, and some that even encourage fire! After a fire, some chaparral plants sprout, grow, and spread rapidly. Many have heat-resistant seeds that break their dormancy after long intervals between fires. Many species of Ceanothus for example,have leaves that are coated with flammable resins that fuel a fire. This adaptation benefits the species because ceanothus seeds require intense heat for germination. “Fire-resistant” roots also enable the plant to resprout quickly in recently burned areas.
Excerpted from a flyer distributed by CDF Headquarters, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento CA 94244-2460
encompasses nearly 5,800 acres of both natural and
developed recreational acres Its rugged hills, valleys
and open areas represent a San Diego prior to the
landing of Cabrillo in San Diego Bay in 1542. read more
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