If wildfires aren’t controlled, they can burn down houses and structures, harm forests, and even claim lives. Despite the press’ regular reports of their destruction, the majority of wildfires are beneficial. In fact, a lot of fires are good for the ecosystem. Long before people emerged, there were natural fires all around us. When old, dead trees or dried grass is struck by lightning, wildfires are ignited.
The space created by these natural fires, however, allows for the emergence of new vegetation. In fact, certain plants—referred to as pyrophytes—have grown to rely on these fires to survive. For instance, seed cones from banksia trees in Australia and lodgepole pines in the United States will open when exposed to heat from a fire. In this manner, it is ensured that the seeds would begin to germinate shortly after a fire when there is less competition for sunlight. Burning is a common element of a healthy, natural life cycle.
Strange as it may sound, minor fires can stop larger ones. The dry, dead wood and plants that accumulate over brief periods of time can be burned through and eliminated by smaller, less hazardous fires. Frequently, even little fires aren’t hot enough to harm mature, living trees. However, forests may gradually swell with dead logs covering the ground if there isn’t the occasional fire. Additionally, there is so much fuel that, when a fire breaks out (as it will eventually do in most places), it can burn tremendously hot and out of control. Even the toughest live trees can perish in these extremely deadly large flames.
This is why it’s so crucial to comprehend fire. Fire itself is neutral in nature. We must make an effort to put out harmful fires and encourage positive ones. Using what we know about wildfires, we can create the best strategy to make it a companion rather than a threat.