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landscape pattern

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The outsized role of California’s largest wildfires in changing forest burn patterns and coarsening ecosystem scale

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Highlights • We evaluated trends for 1,809 fires that burned 1985–2020 across California forests. • Top 1% of fires by size burned 47% of total area burned across the study period. • Top 1% (18 fires) produced 58% of high and 42% of low-moderate severity area. • Top 1% created novel landscape patterns of large burn severity patches.