Burn to Revive
In New Mexico and Colorado firefighters are battling a roaring wildfire. In New Mexico 37 thousand acres has been destroyed. Colorado has lost 43 thousand acres and one person. (Coffman, 2012) These fires are prime examples of why prescribed burning is a must. These fires had all the ingredients to make a big problem. There was a drought/lighting, debris, and humid temperatures. Prescribed burning, controlled burning is a management tool. These small burns in forest-like areas reduce wildfire. (Prescribed, 2012) This is done by teams of firefighters or foresters, studying the weather and characteristics of the area. Once the team has a date set to burn, they ignite the fire ...view middle of the document...
Safe to say if the Roosevelt National Forest had a clear bed, the lightning would not have started the fire in Colorado last week.
A prescribed burn also helps the soil. The soil gains nutrients from the fires. (Long, par 7) These nutrients bring a better growth of plants and trees that feed the animals. With the increase of fruit and nuts the wildlife increases. (Long, par 7) Burning in different zones of a forest in different seasons brings more diversity. Reasoning for the diversity is that the wildlife will have different kinds of food, shelter from predators and weather, and different landscapes (Long, par 7). Fire is an important influence on the wildlife populations because their habitats necessities are diverse. The fire changes the value of their habits. (Walstad, pg. 83, par 8)
Prescribed burns can be used to control pests that harm the ecosystem. (Long, para8) The burns reduce the numbers of fungi like root, rot, fungi that harms trees. Root, rot, fungi is a fungus that cuts off oxygen in the roots for plants that causes them to die and attacks healthy roots (Treating, 2012). Prescribed burns also reduce ticks and bark beetles. Ticks are known to carry many diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Colorado tick fever. (Tick 2010) Bark beetles inject a fungus that stops the tree from moving sap. It changes the tree a rust color and kills the tree (Robison, 2009)
A controlled fire improves access for humans and animal. Using this tool instead of big machinery means less of a mess. Big machinery causes more problems like ruining more trees, getting into and out of the area. These fires make the forest easier to hike or other recreational activities. The fires also increase visibility for hunting. (Long, par 9) Humans can plant trees with less of a problem getting to the soil. (Long, par 9) For the animals that roam the area they can find food and shelter quickly. They can also travel easier since debris is gone. (Long, para9)
With every good thing in life, there will also be cons. The major con is the air pollution prescribed burns cause. Oregon and Washington produce about 110 thousand tons of smoke each year. (Walstad, pg. 195 par 1) In 1979, pollutant emissions per acre burned were reduced by 30 percent by burning in the summer (Walstad, pg. 195, par 3) There is a big concern of air quality for these exposed to the...