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Fire

TWO SIDES OF FIRE
Video Summary (16 minutes)

  • three things determine the behavior of a fire: fuel, weather, topography
  • fuel - undergrowth
    weather - dry, wet, windy, etc.
    topography - the physical features of the land--hilly, flat, rivers, etc.

  • fire kills the low growth and cleanses the earth providing opportunity for
    larger fire resistant trees to grow
  • fire kills diseases and insects and can return nutrients to the earth
  • the two sides to fire are:
Controlled Uncontrolled
-prescribed burn -wild fire
-cool burn -hot burn
-kills: undergrowth, disease & insects -often goes to crown fire, killing all
-fairly quick to return to health -may cause erosion
  -can take decades for a healthy
forest to return
  • consistent, on-going change is essential to a healthy ecosystem that will allow a sustainable forest to grow
  • today’s forests are vulnerable due to our past prevention of fires thus allowing the undergrowth to become dense and overcrowding to occur.
    undergrowth = fuel for fire
  • fire, in the right condition, can do good things. For example, some trees are fire-dependent and require heat to open their cones to release the seed.
  • possible solutions to fire:

    1) let nature take over
    2) manage the forest by:

    - prescribed burning
    - salvaging dead and dying trees plus thinning

  • homes in nature are beautiful but can become dangerous in an untended forest as wild fires may occur; heat + fuel + oxygen -----> fire may result
  • trees compete for sunlight, water and soil nutrients
  • we enjoy forests for: wood products, nature, beauty

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