Sudden oak death, caused by the fungal pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, has killed many native oak trees in California and southern Oregon. The long-term ecological consequences of the disease are not well understood and forest managers are very interested in the interplay between fire and sudden oak death. To learn more, Forest Service scientist J. Morgan Varner and his colleagues used leaf litter from a variety of tree species in northern California to predict future flammability of the remaining vegetative community, once sudden oak death has basically eradicated native tanoak. They found that flammability was diverse across the native co-occurring species; for example, tanoak leaf litter is highly flammable, but Douglas-fir litter is less so. Their research results suggest that leaf litter flammability may be reduced in forests where tanoak dies and is functionally replaced by Douglas-fir. Their findings supplement previous work that identified (1) increased crown fire risk and (2) greater tree mortality in sites infected with sudden oak death.