Prescribed Burns to Prevent Wildland Fires While Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Prescribed Burns to Prevent Wildland Fires

While technology may help solve many problems in firefighting, it is man's use of the prescribed burn that is ultimately his best weapon against unwanted wildland fires and the threat they present.

Wildland fires continue to threaten the forest areas of United States at an alarming pace. Although we can never eliminate them, we can limit the damage caused by wildland fires by using a combination fire suppression, fire prevention, and most importantly, fire use.

This is the belief of several different fire management organizations including the Society of American Foresters, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service.

Prevention of forest fires is the message that has been hammered home to us since we were all young by everyone from Native Americans with tears in their eyes to Smokey the Bear. But nonetheless, prevention still remains a top priority of educators of fire science, who insist that through learning how to prevent the accidents that cause unwanted wildland fires, we can be safer.

The USDA Forest Service says: prevention is education and other actions that reduce unwanted wildland fires, control is action taken on unwanted wildland fires to protect life and to reduce damage to resources and property. Use is the application of wildland fire to meet specific objectives." (1.)

Following the record-breaking wildfire year of 2000, the president stepped up plans for a national wildfire study and last April named an interagency council to create a long-term study that can address our national problem. (2.) The USDA Forest Service and the Department of the Interior started working on The National Fire Plan, which is aimed at protecting communities, firefighters and our natural resources.

The National Fire Plan includes five key points: reduction of hazardous fuels, firefighting readiness, community assistance, rehabilitation and restoration of burned areas, and accountability.

There are Forest Service-specific and interagency policies and study recommendations that provide parameters for operating in the fire management arena.

However, the use of controlled burns appears to be the most important factor on the list of preventing catastrophic wildfires.…

Sources Used in Documents:

references several works: a. Society of American Foresters. 1984. Forestry Handbook. Second Edition. Karl Wenger, Editor. p 235. New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience; b. MacCleery, D.W. 1992. AMERICAN FORESTS: A History of Resiliency and Recovery. FS-540. Washington, DC: States Department of Agriculture; c. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior. 1995. Federal Wildland Fire Management Policy and Program Review. Final Report. Boise, ID: National Interagency Fire Center; d. Northern California Society of American Foresters. 1997. Position Statement: The Need for Expanded Wildland Fuel Management in California. Rancho Cordova, CA. (

National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Id.; National Fire News, June 17, 2002.

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