Let It Burn: The Forest Service Wants to Stop Putting Out Some Fires

Fires aren’t all bad. Some fires help forests become healthier, but scientists say they’re sorely lacking in California.

Sierra Nevada forests are adapted to low-intensity fires that clear the underbrush and prevent trees from getting too dense. After a century of fire suppression, many forests are overgrown, which can make catastrophic fires worse.

So forest managers are piloting a new policy designed to shift a century-old mentality about fire in the West.

The idea is to let naturally-caused fires burn when they aren’t a threat to homes or people. But actually making those decisions on the ground isn’t easy in a crowded state like California.

Source: Let It Burn: The Forest Service Wants to Stop Putting Out Some Fires | KQED Science