A fire regime is a natural part of some habitats, such as pine barrens, and the plants in these regions are fire-adapted. The suppression of natural fires by humans concerned about the spread of fire to communities near these regions has led to an increasing number of invasive plant species in these once-pristine areas and a buildup of fire fuels, such as pine needles, grasses and small shrubs.
Prescribed burning will actually keep communities safer by getting rid of these fuels in an expertly-controlled fire setting (I have trained as a wildland firefighter for prescribed burns-it is very controlled!). This way, the wildfires that do occur won’t be as severe. Burning also kills invasive species that are not fire-adapted. Another benefit is that after a fire, fruit and seed production increases, encouraging the return of wildlife. Prescribed burns can also tackle insect pest problems and plant diseases, as well as open areas for human access–see below for more benefits and concerns about prescribed burns.
Those who work in forestry are able to identify areas that might be susceptible to forest fires. By conducting prescribed, burns, they are culling those areas in order to lessen the chance of an uncontrollable blaze.
Unfortunately, there could be an environmental hazard to this practice:
Prescribed burns are also an important fire fighting technique. Often, during forests fires, fire crews will cut down lines of trees and burn them before the forest fire has an opportunity to use then as fuel. These fire crews are often referred to as Hot Shots
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