Fire in the forests

Fire is unavoidable in natural systems. What and how it burns is often a human choice. The article acknowledges good fire management in Southern pine country, where practice and culture accept prescribed burning. There is an irony in the West. Westerners sometimes feel closer to nature, but the region is the most urban, i.e. people living in cities, in the U.S. People living in cities surrounded by vast open and ostensibly natural spaces, IMO, make make it harder to manage land well, since those whose experience with land consists mostly of hiking and vacationing tend to think that nature requires no management.

Southern fire managers have more practical experience than anybody else. It was not always so and it is earned knowledge. It would be good to apply that knowledge elsewhere. I recommend looking at the Southern Fire Exchange.

The linked article quotes Scott L. Stephens, professor of fire science at the University of California at Berkeley, saying, “Why don’t we hear about all these houses burning down and people dying in the South? They’re doing a better job.”

Scientists say megafires in West will grow bigger, hotter www.washingtonpost.com

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