Final Draft Essay - David Hodge BIO-220 Professor Avila...

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David HodgeBIO-220Professor Avila04/02/2016The Benefits of Controlled BurningAlthough it may seem that controlled forest fires are a detriment to the environment andthe health and safety of citizens, often times it is very beneficial and a much needed process. Onaverage every year, there are over 100,000 forest or wildland fires which burn over 4 millionacres. These fires not only burn vegetation, but have also destroyed homes and businesses andeven lives (National Geographic, 2016). Forest fires can pose a danger to human health due tothe smoke that is produced and with the suppression of fires, the number of small natural fireshas reduced this causing an increase for the much larger forest fires. Controlled forest fires helpto alleviate this problem and are very beneficial to the health of the environment. By utilizing theprocess of controlled burning, forestry services can increase the health of the ecosystem,minimize the health effects from poor air quality that comes in wildfires, and even save lives thatare lost in the large uncontrolled wildfires.From the outside looking in, it may be odd to purposely set controlled wildfires, but it isvital for the health of the ecosystem, can mitigate negative human health effects, and prevent lossof life to not only the general population but also the firefighters trying to suppress the fires.Without periodic fires, the change in the health of an ecosystem can be detrimental. Increases intree density, homogenizing landscape structure, plant species that benefit from a bare floordecline, fire-sensitive and shade-tolerant trees can infill with a canopy cover reducing diversity,and even a rarity in endangered wildlife occurs from a lack of fire altering their habitat (Ryan,Knapp, & Varner, 2013). With uncontrolled wildfires, also comes the production of toxic gases
and particulates. According to Urbanski, Hao, & Nordgren, 2011, of the total global emissions ofcarbon monoxide, carbonaceous aerosols, and nitrogen oxides, biomass fires produce 40%, 35%,and 20% of those respectively. They also alluded to the fact that these biomass burnings were not

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Term
Spring
Professor
Lenk
Tags
Wildfire, Controlled burn, Varner

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