The long-term impact a wildfire has on a forest and its wildlife
PHOENIX - As crews work endlessly to stop the "Bush Fire" flames from consuming structures, a big part of the forest isn't forgotten, and that's its wildlife.
Amy Burnett with Arizona Game and Fish says "It’s going fast. It’s moving so quickly."
The fire as of Saturday night is over 170,000 acres and less than 10% contained.
There is another component of this massive destruction, she said, and that is, unfortunately, some animals will get boxed in.
She says the impact of these flames might last a while. "In some cases, it will take 1 to 3 years in, some cases it will take decades."
She adds, "It’s actually more nutritious for the wildlife that there's old-growth, so it is a benefit to the wildlife. They will be displaced for a time so animals will be looking for new territories."
Burnett says if you want to, you can put out small amounts of water outside your door, but nothing too big because you don’t want to attract larger animals. She says there's enough water in nature for the larger animals.
After the flames are eventually extinguished, a separate team will examine what’s left and the danger it poses.
"Once those monsoon rains do hit, it will push all that ash into the waterways and into our lakes and streams affecting people and affecting wildlife," Burnett explained.
She says they may place logs to block overflow or landslides or assess what needs to be planted to protect the water.
To read more about the fast-moving "Bush Fire," visit this link.