The Foothills: A Fire-Prone Ecosystem

The foothills are part of a fire-prone ecosystem. Historically, fires were infrequent, small and patchy and often started by summer thunderstorms that traveled across the mountains and plains. The native plants and wildlife were adapted to this wildfire regime; it was part of a natural process.

Now invasive grasses like cheatgrass have changed the natural fire cycle to frequent wildfires that often burn large areas.Cheatgrass grows close together and dries out in early spring, which promotes fast-moving wildfires. After wildfires, cheatgrass and other invasive plants take over before native plants can grow back. A cheatgrass-wildfire cycle is the result which increases the loss of foothills habitat, losses of homes and property, and watershed stability. The solution is simple, be careful not to start a fire in the foothills, report all fires immediately (911), and help with restoration efforts if a wildfire does occur.



What Can You Do?

Call 911 to report wildfires

Be careful with anything that could spark a wildfire

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