Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Pet Peeve

I heard a network news report on one of the wildfires out west. At the conclusion of the report they said "the fire has destroyed 22,000 acres."

Another victim of Smokey Bear propaganda.

The fire may have burned 22,000 acres of forest but it surely did not destroy the land itself. Fire transforms wild areas and that is often for the better. It releases nutrients back to the soil and promotes new plant growth.

Those new plants provide much more food per acre than tall forests. Deer and turkey love burned-over areas. Quail plantations use fire regularly as part of their habitat management. Without regular burns prairie grasses get squeezed out by lawn grasses and other invasive weeds.

Fire, in wild areas, is just part of the natural order.