The Physical Environment

Landscapes and Ecosystems

How do forest fires help forests?

An occasional fire is often necessary for a forest. Forest fires clear undergrowth, giving more room for trees to grow, thus rejuvenating the forest. Since forest fires are usually extinguished by fire fighters as rapidly as possible, the amount of undergrowth in forests has increased. This extra undergrowth can become extremely flammable, making fires even more dangerous to people. A policy of allowing the forest to burn naturally, while protecting human structures, produces a more natural environment.


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