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Buffelgrass – An Invasive Species in the Southwest United States

Updated: May 11, 2022

About a century ago, buffelgrass was introduced to the Desert Southwest, United States, as forage for cattle and later as a means for erosion control. Originally found in the African Savanna and parts of Asia, native buffelgrass grows between sparsely populated trees on relatively flat lands, where the local vegetation has developed with regularly occurring fires. These fire adapted species are accustomed to relatively frequent and intense fires, with temperatures exceeding 1,500° F. The flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert, and surrounding areas, however, are not as accustomed such fires and the effects on these unique species can be devastating. Buffelgrass also acts as a connecting fuel that threatens the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), the confluence of human activity and nature. These fire effects can range from damaged electric transmission and distribution lines to lives and livelihoods lost. It is unlikely that buffelgrass is going away, and measures must be taken to monitor its growth and interaction with other vegetation at local and regional levels. For more information on how we can provide another line of defense for your assets, please reach out to us at

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