Author's Note: How does a forest fire benefit living things?
Without fire, early humans would have been chilly vegetarians (it would have been difficult to subsist on dinosaur carpaccio during the long, cold winters, after all). Although we've come to rely on fire for survival and comfort, fire also can sweep through heavily wooded areas and threaten lives or livelihood. Still, there are benefits. These fires eat their way through underbrush and never reach the tops of the tallest trees. After the fire dies out, it leaves the forest clear of underbrush that chokes out new growth, making it ready for a new generation of native plants.
- Eilperin, Juliet. "Benefits of Planned Forest Fires Are Cited." The Washington Post. July 31, 2005. (April 12, 2013) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/30/AR2005073000999.html
- Family On Bikes. "How Fires Benefit Wildlife." (April 10, 2013) http://familyonbikes.org/educate/lessons/animals_wildfires.htm
- James, Michael. "Animals Co-Exist with Wildfires." ABC News. Aug. 16, 2000. (April 10, 2013) http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=119700
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "Kansas Prescribed Fire Emissions." (April 12, 2013) http://www.kdheks.gov/bar/reghaze/Appendix_7_3.pdf
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "Kansas Prescribed Fire Emissions." (April 17, 2013) http://www.kdheks.gov/bar/reghaze/Appendix_10_4.pdf
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- Pacific Biodiversity Institute. "Fire Ecology." 2009. (April 10, 2013) http://www.pacificbio.org/initiatives/fire/fire_ecology.html
- Porter, Michael. "How to Conduct a Prescribed Burn." February 2000. The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation. (April 17, 2013) http://www.noble.org/ag/wildlife/prescribedburn/
- Society of American Foresters. "The State of America's Forests." 2006. (April 12, 2013) http://www.safnet.org/publications/americanforests/StateOfAmericasForests.pdf
- U.S. Forest Service. "The U.S. Forest Service: An Overview." 2001. (April 12, 2013) http://www.fs.fed.us/documents/USFS_An_Overview_0106MJS.pdf
- Western Forestry Leadership Coalition. "The True Cost of Wildfire in the Western U.S." April 2010. (April 10, 2013) http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/roseburg/plans/collab_forestry/files/TrueCostOfWilfire.pdf