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Why do prescribed burning?

Year Published: 2018

Fire has always been a natural disturbance process that is essential to healthy ecological systems across the landscape in the western United States. In the early 1900s, land management agencies sought to suppress all fires in an effort to preserve the timber supply and other natural resources. Fire suppression policy was effective and over the decades fire exclusion has contributed to the increased amount of vegetation (live and dead) on the landscape. Increased vegetation (fuel) has increased the risk of having large uncharacteristically severe wildfires in our forests, rangelands, and near communities. Some forests and rangelands are more vulnerable to environmental stress (drought, insects, disease, and invasive species) without the role of low intensity frequent fire. To reverse this trend fire needs to be reintroduced to the western landscape to help enhance the capabilities of firefighting resources to safely respond to wildfires and improve the ecological health and resiliency of our public lands.

Citation: Bureau of Land Management. 2018. Why do prescribed burning? https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/fire/prescribedburns/burn_bkgrnd.php. Date Accessed, June 13, 2018. 1 p.
Topic(s): Fuels, Fuel Treatments & Effects, Prescribed Fire-use treatments
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Research Brief or Fact Sheet
NRFSN number: 17801
Record updated: Jun 13, 2018