What Do Wild Animals Do in Wildfires? | National Geographic

Sarah Zielinski and Elaina Zachos | National Geographic | 30/07/2018

Big wildfires, like those tearing through Northern California, can hurt some animals—while others escape, and some species even thrive.

Right now, dozens of wildfires are raging across the world. Earlier this month, blazes broke out in Greece, and consistent heat and drought conditions this summer have set the table for fires in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, and England. In North America, states like California, Oregon, and Alaska have reported persistent, deadly blazes that have already charred millions of acres of land this year alone.

Currently, wildfires in Northern California are leaving a trail of destruction. The Carr Fire in Redding, which is about 160 miles north of Sacramento, has claimed several lives and destroyed hundreds of buildings. But for some wildlife species that have evolved to live with fire, the scenario is not so dire.

In these regions, “wildlife have a long-standing relationship with fire,” ecosystem ecologist Mazeika Sullivan of the Ohio State University said in a previous interview. “Fire is a natural part of these landscapes.”