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Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

Essential questions: 
What role does fire play in maintaining healthy ecosystems?
How does fire impact the surrounding community?
Is there a need to prescribe fire?
How have plants and animals adapted to fire?
What factors must fire managers consider prior to planning and conducting controlled burns?

In this lesson, students distinguish between a wildfire and a controlled burn, also known as a prescribed fire. They explore multiple controlled burn scenarios. They explain the positive impacts of fire on ecosystems (e.g., reduce hazardous fuels, dispose of logging debris, prepare sites for seeding/planting, improve wildlife habitat, manage competing vegetation, control insects and disease, improve forage for grazing, enhance appearance, improve access, perpetuate fire-dependent species) and compare and contrast how organisms in different ecosystems have adapted to fire.