Friday, October 17, 2014

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires...

...which is the problem.

The forests in the eastern US are changing, and it's not climate change. And it's not a change for the better.

The forests are growing thicker and denser, which is damaging the understory - the plants that live on the forest floor. Which in turn messes up the entire ecosystem.

And yup.

It's because we prevent forest fires. In the west, fire prevention causes a build up of stuff that's supposed to burn off that can lead to far more dangerous firestorms.

Is it time to completely rethink how we manage forest fires? Is it time to accept them as inevitable, take precautions to protect (moat, local clearing, etc) our property - and possibly even to start fires in a controlled manner to prevent larger ones?

I've been thinking so for a while, but this new study is more evidence that we are doing it all wrong.