What Happens When Forests Set Fire?

by Leah Feor July 08, 2016

Forest Fire Image

Every time I hear news of a forest fire, my heart drops.  I immediately think about everything that can be impacted by this one event.

If people live close by, their lives are put at risk.  Same goes for the crew that has to go in at the ground level to somehow “control” nature as it takes its course.

I think about all the animals and amphibians that might be displaced from their homes in the forest.  And what about the trees?  They’re rooted into the Earth, and cannot flee for higher ground to escape the flames and smoke as the fire takes on a life of its own.

Though I can go on for longer – listing all those affected – I’d rather shine a light on forest fires, even if it’s just a glimmer.

While I’m not suggesting that forest fires are always a good thing, I am suggesting that this natural function of our ecosystem can leave a positive trail behind.

Forest fires have always been a part of the Earth’s natural cycle.

“Fire is a jolt to living systems, the beginning of a new state of life on the land which is part of a cycle that has been in place for thousands of years.”

A healthy forest fire can reduce dead vegetation.  This in turn will stimulate new growth.  It helps keep balance on the forest floor, and improves habitat for wildlife. 

While out of control wildfires are not good on many levels, neither is fire suppression, as it is often a contributor to the magnitude of the fire itself.  Fire suppression can throw the natural cycle – and ecosystem – off balance resulting in unruly wildfires.

This is why I believe that responsible conservation of our Earth is so important.  Different parcels and properties are owned and regulated by different people, often outside our control.  However, where we do have a say, we need to let our voice be heard.

Many communities and regions in the United States and around the world have conservation authorities that are open and able to work with the public.  Get involved at the local level in helping to conserve our ecosystem, and observe the ripple effect of positive action across the globe. 

It is all connected; and just like the natural functions of our ecosystem, you too can leave a positive trail behind.

Do you volunteer with your local conservation authority?  We want to hear about it!  Connect with us through social media, or submit a comment below.




Leah Feor
Leah Feor

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