Fire it up

By Jay Townsend

(Left to Right) Elizabeth Anderson, Dylan Edwards, Roger Howell and Ty Fowler

(Left to Right) Elizabeth Anderson, Dylan Edwards, Roger Howell and Ty Fowler

On Jan 27, 2016 several rangers from the Mountain Home Project Office assisted a team from Bull Shoals White River State Park with a prescribed fire within the state park’s lease below Bull Shoals Dam.

Did you know fire can be good for people and the land? After many years of fire exclusion, an ecosystem that needs periodic fire becomes unhealthy. Trees are stressed by overcrowding; fire-dependent species disappear; and flammable fuels build up and become hazardous. The right fire at the right place at the right time reduces hazardous fuels, protecting human communities from extreme fires.

Here are several other advantages of prescribed fires:

  • Minimizes the spread of pest insects and disease
  • Removes unwanted species that threaten species native to an ecosystem
  • Provides forage for game
  • Improves habitat for threatened and endangered species
  • Recycles nutrients back to the soil
  • Promotes the growth of trees, wildflowers, and other plants

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