Washington forest managers are conducting controlled forest fires to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires in the future.
According to the Spokesman-Review, forest managers have already ignited a fire near the Colville National Forest in north-central Washington, and they have several other controlled burns planned throughout the state during this “good fire” season.
Wildlife officials hope these controlled forest fires will consume some of the dry forest material that has accumulated over the years and reduce the severity of future fires in the area. Their top priority is to prevent the loss of human life and damage to property.
Right now, there is a small window of ideal conditions to conduct controlled forest fires. The peak of the summer dry season has ended, and the wet weather of the fall and winter hasn’t started, so contained fires are easier to control.
Under the right conditions, forest fires can be beneficial to the environment. Controlled burns reduce fuels the accumulate on the forest floor, which in turn reduces the risk of non-controlled forest fires from turning into blazing infernos that transform the forest into something that looks like the face of the moon.
These controlled burns might also improve hunting conditions in the region over the next few years. Forest fires can rejuvenate forest ecosystem and boost biodiversity, and hunters can reap the rewards. In the short term, forest fires are bad for hunting in the immediate area of the fire. But, an area that has been burned can turn into a hunting paradise just a few years after a fire transforms the landscape.
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