Fighting Fire with Fire
Last month, after fire escaped a Forest Service prescribed burn in New Mexico, Chief Randy Moore announced a sweeping order, pausing all prescribed fire operations on National Forest lands. This reactionary measure came right as the burn window was opening up for many states, halting the majority of prescribed burns on American soil.
While the escapement of the New Mexico fire is unfortunate, these events are rare, and the suspension of all controlled fire on National Forest lands could have negative implications as we enter the 2022 fire season. Research in recent years has shown that introducing controlled fire to a landscape is one of the best tools in our arsenal for preventing extreme fire events, such as the ones we have experienced in northern California over the last decade.
While western science is just now catching up to this fact, Indigenous people across the globe have been practicing intentional burning for millennia. Including local tribes such as Karuk and Yurok, who are now leaders in the global conversation about the practice of cultural and prescribed burning.
Explore the articles below to learn more about the importance of prescribed and cultural burning. Don't miss the "Good Fire - 2022" video, recently released by the Karuk Tribe.