Prescribed Burn

Some of us may wonder, “Why are prescribed burns done on our forests?” Questions like this loom, especially after the Lower North Fork Wildfirewhich erupted from a prescribed burn. The purpose is to prevent destructive wildfires

Fort Lewis prairie and grassland smolders afte...

which can be done by burning under safer conditions with the necessary tools for control. An appropriately “controlled” burn would reduce fuels that feed dangerous fires and assure that the next fire season would not bring destructive, property damaging fire. Prescribed burning is a very precise practice and a complex tool. Fire is applied in a knowledgeable manner to forest fuels on a specific land area under selected weather conditions to accomplish predetermined, well-defined management objectives. Only a certified fire prescriptionist should be allowed to burn. Proper diagnosis and detailed planning is mandatory before every burn. An incomplete assessment of any factor in a plan can lead to serious loss of property and life with serious liability questions to both the landowner and the one responsible for the burn. Here at The Big Chili, we’re not casting judgment on anyone for the prescribed burn done in March. We don’t yet know every detail – it’s possible the wind simply didn’t behave as predicted. Yet even in the wake of such a terrible turn of events it’s important to remember that prescribed burns are necessary. They actually serve to make us safer

as well as keeping the forest healthy.


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