The Benefits of Prescribed Wildfire
Over the years prescribed fires have been utilized less frequently, even with the growing wildfire issues throughout the province. It is the general consensus though, that fighting fire with fire is the most strategic method available to the province for reducing the growing risk of wildfires. But just what is prescribed fire?
Prescribed fire, or controlled burning, is the intentional setting of fire for effective forest management. These burns are conducted in a controlled manner in both adapted ecosystems and wildfire prone areas. There are two primary methods that can be employed. First, Broadcast burning: Fire is applied to a specific area up to thousands of hectares and allowed to burn under close observation. Second, Pile Burning: where small piles of cut and stacked vegetation are burned under safe conditions with very little spread between piles. Regardless of the method though, prior to even thinking of setting the fire, a detailed prescribed burn plan must be created by a certified Burn Boss. Firestorm has both Type 1,2, and 3 Certified Burn Bosses; Learn More Here.
Fight Fire with Fire
Prescribed burning has been an effective method of managing forest throughout the centuries, today with the rise in forest fires the government has said that they will be expanding their use and working to amend the laws and regulations that govern them. In addition to helping reduce the risk of wildfire, controlled burning also helps with restoring healthy forests and grasslands, enhances wildlife habitats, recycling nutrients into the soil, and decrease diseases and pests. In fact, many plant and animal ecosystems are dependent upon these fires.
Without the help of prescribed burning, natural fuels like dropped foliage, wood debris, and vegetation, are left to build up into potentially dangerous levels. These fuels are what cause wildfires to gain speed, intensity and height; potentially becoming uncontrollable. This ultimately results in the loss of timber, property, and even lives. In addition to this, after a large forest fire the soil becomes deeply scorched and destroys the forest floor, which can take decades to regrow. Prescribed burns help to mange these potentially lethal fuels, without scorching the soil beneath. The benefits of prescribed fire are clear: saving communities, enhancement of animal habitats, preservation of our forests, and more.
Just like the right prescription for the treatment of an illness, prescribed burns will not eliminate forest fires all together, but they can have positive results for our beautiful forests.