First For Wildlife

forest fire1

Catastrophic wildfires are now frequent events in many places around the world. Currently, there are eight American states with active fires! Some blame global climate change, which causes longer fire seasons with hotter, drier conditions.  Others would argue that fire is a natural event. But perhaps biologist and land managers can do more to reduce the negative effects.

Prescribed burning is a controversial subject, but it is also an effective tool that can be used to prevent wildfires from becoming catastrophic. Prescribed burning is the careful use of fire to manage forested areas, which reduces hazardous fuels. Hazardous fuels include pine needles, hardwood leaves, fallen branches and herbaceous vegetation which make the forest more susceptible to fires. Large accumulations of these fuels lead to hot, damaging fires.  Prescribed burns also consume trees, shrubs, and invasive species that compete with other vegetation for moisture and nutrients.

Prescribed fires enhance vegetative growth…

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