Controlled Fire Final Report.docx - Matthew Gartrell...

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Matthew GartrellBIO-220September 13, 2014Daunte GibbsControlled FireForest fire, some view it as destructive and some view it as beneficial. From ones view onthe outside it appears to only destroy what is in its path, but according to the USDA, “Fire playsan important and critical role in influencing vegetation and the lifecycles of trees and plantcommunities. Many species are dependent on fire.” In this paper we will discuss controlled forestfires and how healthy they are for the environment and people.Controlled fire is not only common in the forest, it is necessary. Fire is a natural part ofthe forest ecosystem, and fires have been burning for centuries. According to the USDA, “Fireplays an important and critical role in influencing vegetation and the lifecycles of trees and plantcommunities. Many species are dependent on fire.” (n.d.) Controlled burns allow for this naturalprocess of renewal to take place, without it getting out of control. The USDA further explains,“Faster recycling occurs during a fire. Gasses are released into the atmosphere in the form ofsmoke. In the burned area, nitrogen and other nutrients remain and are leached back into the soilas rain soaks the ground. This is nature's way of rapidly recycling nutrients.” (n.d.) When acontrolled fire is planned, it is also aimed at lowering fuels that could spark larger fires. Thesefuels were once controlled by natural fires, but now they are controlled by humans by the meansof controlled fires. The USDA explains that, “These low intensity fires in the past kept the forest

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Term
Spring
Professor
Lenk
Tags
Wildfire, Bushfire, Controlled burn, Firebreak

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