Forests are suffering because of decades of fire suppression. Aggressive efforts over the years to keep fire, any fire, off the landscape led to huge amounts of fuels on the forest floor which spawns large and often catastrophic wildfires. One forest expert says that means there are two options when dealing wildfire.
“The first one is how much fire do we want on the landscape? The second one is, what kind of fire do we want? Zero is not an option because we’ve tried that, and you can see the consequences of it,” Mark Finney, U.S. Forest Service fire scientist, told Montana Public Radio.
Finney says prescribed burning is vital going forward. He also says the government needs to be more involved and coordinated.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation maintains that active forest management in the form of prescribed burns, thinning, noxious weed work and other treatments benefit wildlife habitat and overall forest health.
(Photo source: U.S. Forest Service)