Fire in the Mojave Desert: A Landscape in Transition

Joshua Tree National Park


In the Mojave Desert, fires provide an opportunity for invasive plants to take root, which in turn leads to larger and more frequent fires. In Joshua Tree National Park, this cycle has resulted in fires of 5,000, 6,000, and 13,000 acres over the past few decades, and increasing acres of invasive grasses.

The Dome Fire, in Mojave National Preserve, burned 43,000 acres and over a million Joshua trees in summer 2020. Will invasives take hold there as well, changing the ecosystem forever?


3 minutes, 54 seconds


NPS/Peri Sasnett

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