Prescribed fire is the part of fire management that deals with controlled fires. You may not realize that many times when you see areas of the forest burning that this is done on purpose. Prescribed fires are set by fire management officials when they determine that it is needed. You may wonder why a fire is ever needed. Fire is a natural part of the cycle of life. In the wild, natural forest fires are started by lightning. Controlled fires are started to prevent wild fires from burning out of control.
To explain this process, imagine a dry season, perhaps a drought. This has dried out the grass and the brush to the point that fire management enforces a burn ban. This is a time when personnel will evaluate particular areas of risk. Places where there are large amounts of dry brush and grasses. Instead of taking the chance of a natural wild fire starting, spreading quickly and destroying thousands of acres, a controlled burn will take place. This controlled burn will destroy the areas of risk so that if a wild fire occurs, the damage will be minimal.
Prescribed fires are also used to remove parts of the forest that are unhealthy. Just like people and animals, plants get diseases. Instead of taking the risk of the plant diseases spreading to the entire forest, professionals will access the area. A controlled burn will destroy the diseased part of the forest so it can grow back healthy. With the use of prescribed fires, fire management officials maintain a healthy ecological balance in nature. The next time you see a fire burning in the forest, take the time to consider that it may not be an accidental fire. Not every fire is always the result of a neglectful human being. Many fires are controlled to improve the life of the forest.