The Effects of Fire in Denali National Park

The Effects of Fire in Denali National Park
Not all fire at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska is considered detrimental to the thriving eco-system of the area. In some instances, it is beneficial to promote new and existing growth of trees and plant life.

Areas Affected

The main area of Denali National Park that is affected by fires is the area primarily north of the Alaskan Range. The reason for this is because of the level of land, and the effect of the winds that dry out and spark flames within the forest.

Areas Unaffected

Areas such as the exposed rock and glacier-carved mountains lack dry wood and vegetation that is prone to fire starting. South of the Alaskan Range in Denali National Park lies areas of heavy humidity and precipitation that lack the combustible material found in the forests or flatter areas of the range.

How Fire Starts

Fires are usually fueled by the down winds of Mount McKinley and sweep up before reaching the lower-lying Alaskan Mountain Range, affecting the areas in between. The friction from the wind can cause dry material to rub together, causing flames that can be fueled by man.


The white spruce trees native of the park rely on ground fires to wipe out the accumulated organic layers that prevent new seedlings and growth. Black spruce seeds are spread once their seed cones are forced open by canopy fire.


Many animals burrow and their homes can be affected by fire--burning away brush and logs they once used for shelter.


Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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