Technically, firefighters generally do not decide when a prescribed burn is appropriate. A prescribed burn is a tool typically used by foresters, in many cases to stimulate growth. Forest fires are a completely natural occurance and in some cases, are necessary for certain plants to germinate. For example, many types of cones are unable to disperse seeds without heat from flames. The forest service usually works closely with the fire department and wildlife biologists to determine the most effective and safest way of setting up the blaze. Generally speaking, the goal is to promote reforestation.
In addition, some intentional man-made fires are done to prevent later ones from getting out of control. By burning an area with a controlled fire, firefighters are able to eliminate the fire hazard and ensure the area is much safer in the future.
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