You can't have a forest fire without an argument about what contributed to the severity of the fire. Now researchers from the forestry departments at Humboldt State and Oregon State Universities weigh in with research on differences between public and private land.
In general, the work found that the fire severity is greater on private lands with younger trees, most of the same type.
Conversely, the fire severity was less on adjacent public lands with greater variety of tree species and age.
We get into the details with Professor Harold Zald of HSU, the lead author of the research.