Beloved Joshua tree forest taken by Mojave Desert fire

Wildfires have drastically increased over the past few summer months all around California including the burning of a beautiful well-known view in the Joshua Tree forest.

The trees, still standing, are charred throughout one of the biggest Joshua Tree forests in the world. Some of the trees had developed for thousands of years. Over 43,000 acres burned in the Dome fire- which was expected by the preserves science and resource chief, Debra Hughson, who believed the ecosystem “was not sustainable” due to previous problems with the climate.

Invasive grasses across the desert became more flammable over the years which causes the likelihood of wildfires to increase. Because of the lightning fires erupting all over California, the preserve had relatively little help as firefighters fought to put the fire out while it spread.

Hitting over 15,000 acres in the beginning with winds reaching 20 mph, the Joshua Tree preserve burned recklessly until the later days. With help from smoke-jumpers, a helicopter, and a few more air tankers, the fire began to settle down. After 9 days of continous wreckage, the fire was contained on Aug. 24. It ended at 68 square miles in total. More than 1.3 billion Joshua trees burned down and about a quarter of the forest was destroyed, according to preserve botanist Drew Kaiser.

Recovery plans will begin soon as Joshua Trees are planted amongst the preserve in small areas to hopefully keep from the remnants catching fire again.

See photos of the aftermath of the Dome Fire here.

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