Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - Fire

State: Idaho, Montana, Wyoming
Description: Wildfires are naturally occurring agents of disturbance in the region’s forests. As the National Park Service says, “Wildfire has had a role in the dynamics of Yellowstone’s ecosystems for thousands of years.” Wildfire maintains a natural balance and mix of plants and trees, reduces build-up of deadfall and organic material, creates a natural succession of plant growth, and makes forests more resistant to drought, insects, and invasion by non-native plants. But climate change—hotter and drier conditions and longer fire seasons—is already expanding the natural force of wildfire in Greater Yellowstone. Wildfires in general are now more numerous, larger, and more destructive than they used to be.