Prescribed burning

Desert Research Institute

Prescribed fires have been used for centuries to help control the landscape. But the practice fell out of favor in the early 20th century. While attitudes are changing, the West still sees fire as a destructive process. A look at prescribed fires on Idaho Matters.

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A recent study says the American West should be doing more prescribed burns to keep forests healthy and to help lessen the impacts of wildfires across our region. It also concluded that there needs to be a change in how we perceive the practice out here for that to happen.

Wildfire season is around the corner in the Mountain West. Prescribed burns are just one way to reduce wildfire risk. That's because, in the right setting, they reduce built-up dry fuel in a controlled environment.

Greg Harness / Flickr Creative Commons

Prescribed burning is an important tool in a wildland firefighter’s toolbox. Crews will go out and light fires in areas that maybe haven’t burned naturally in decades.