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How Should We Manage Forest Fires?

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photo courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory

photo courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory


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Do Now

What do you think our role should be in managing forest fires?

Introduction

Wildfires play an important role in a healthy ecosystem. They maintain the ecological integrity by replenishing and rejuvenating the landscape while helping to return nutrients to the soil. At the same time, wildfires can become unwieldy and pose a severe threat to the stability of our communities. After the nation faced massive devastations from unwieldy fires such as the Peshtigo Fire and the Great Fire of 1910, the forest service began implementing strict policies stating that all wildfires were to be quickly suppressed. This practice continued until the 1960s, when policies towards fire suppression were changed as a result of new studies that recognized wildfires as a vital process for forest regrowth. Now, nearly a century later, many of our national forests have become dense with growth. This increase in forest density allows wildfires to burn at a higher speed and intensity, resulting in greater overall devastation to the area. To make things more challenging, climate change, drought and human settlement have all helped contribute to a rise in the frequency of wildfires.

Last week, California was introduced to the Rim Fire, the third-largest fire in the state’s history. The fire, located in and around Yosemite National Park, spread at an alarming rate, reaching over 250,000 acres in only 10 days. Officials attributed the fire’s size and speed to the fact that it started and spread in areas of the forest that had not seen fires in almost a century. The Rim Fire has currently cost more than $100 million to fight, destroyed 11 homes, 97 outbuildings and is still burning today. So far this year in the U.S., 33,766 fires have burned more than 3.5 million acres. In 2012, the Forest Service spent around $1.43 billion fighting 67,774 fires that burned more than 9.3 million acres.

As the frequency and severity of wildfires increase each year, we face difficult questions as to how we prepare, prevent and account for the devastation that these wildfires bring. We will have to ask ourselves how we weigh the risks of our forests’ health against the safety of our own communities. Is there a balance? What is our role in managing forest fires?

Resource

NPR Morning Edition video How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires – Aug. 23, 2012
Huge wildfires are burning bigger and hotter than ever before. Scientists say a hundred years of fire prevention policy and climate change are to blame.
In addition to this narrated slideshow, find a radio segment, interactives and images at the link above. This is the first of a five-part series, Megafires: The New Normal in the Southwest.


To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowFire

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets like memes or more extensive blog posts to represent their ideas. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.


More Resources

U.S. Forest Service video Science Perspectives – Fire Research At The Pacific Southwest Research Station – Nov. 19, 2012
Scientists from the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station talk about fire research they’ve conducted in California and the Pacific Islands.

The Guardian interactive map Yosemite Rim Fire – Sept. 5, 2013
California’s Rim Fire is one of the largest wildfires in the state’s history. See how fast it has spread with this interactive created by OpenDataCity.

Esri interactive Rim Fire Perspectives Map
View points of interest in and around the Rim Fire’s boundary, the fire’s progression, history of fire in Yosemite National Park, and how power and water infrastructure is being affected by the fire.


KQED Do Now Science is a monthly activity in collaboration with California Academy of Sciences. The Science Do Now is posted every second Tuesday of the month.

 



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Category: Do Now, Do Now: Science

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About the Author ()

The California Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. It is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and research and education programs, which engage people of all ages and backgrounds on two of the most important topics of our time: life and its sustainability. Founded in 1853, the Academy’s mission is to explore, explain and sustain life. Visit www.calacademy.org for more information.
  • Brooke P.

    I think being aware of when lightning storms are going to happen can help us be ready for any fires that start. And also, maybe some forest rangers or something could be pit on duty to warn any people living there that there is a fire.

  • Faine

    I think that people (who do it as a JOB) should go out and burn the under brush that can easily set on fire. They should also keep a close eye on the weather and wind patterns of that area.

  • Amaka N

    I think we should learn to control forest fires because suppression has only made them worse.

  • Guest

    I think that if somebody starts a campfire then they should make sure to control their fire and also to put it out. The weather in forest areas should also be watched so if lightning strikes a tree and it catches on fire somebody can do something about it before the whole forest burns down.

  • Roemello

    In order to reduce the effects of the dangerous but necessary wildfires, humans should stop building their homes in the middle of forest areas prone to fires.

  • Hi

    Hi mrs. Marus

  • Andrew Johnson

    I believe that we should only intervene in forest fires if it is affecting the local population in the area, or if it is damaging buildings such as houses or offices. If it has been proven that forest fires help in the growth of forests, we should let nature do what it has to, unless it affects us in negative ways.

    • Kennady Paige

      I agree.

  • Michelle Dwyer

    I think that we should stop building houses in the forest so people’s house don’t burn down so it will stop making so many fires I think that will help reduce the fire that are starting

    • Kennady Paige

      I think so too. It’s kind of silly to do stuff like that.

      • Michelle Dwyer

        Yes it is silly to do that

  • Evan Curatolo

    I only feel that we should intervein only if people are in danger. You need to evacuate the area but if the houses burn then just collect your insurence.

    • Kaitlyn Bartling

      I agree, but what if someone can’t afford house insurance?

  • Austyn Mikolon

    I think that we should get involved a little in forest fires because if let the fire go it could get too overwhelming for the area getting burned. Although we shouldn’t get to involved because then we will be putting lives in danger for no reason just to save a few house built out in the middle of nowhere.

    • Michelle Dwyer

      I agree because the fire could get really big and no one will put it out. and also we would be putting lives in danger. What they should do is to stop building houses in the middle of no where.

      • Austyn Mikolon

        You’re right but what right do we have to take away the freedom of building a house out in the forest?

        • Michelle Dwyer

          That’s also true but it wouldn’t make since if we want to reduce the amount of fires to build houses in the forest.

  • Christopher Boyd

    I think we should should not get involved in forest fires unless the fire threatens a major city or community. If the fire threatens a little house in the middle of the forest I think we should not get involved because first not many people live there. Second not much money will be lost. Third and last we have home insurance which covers the loss of a home. This is what I think we should do if a forest fire starts.

    • Kennady Paige

      What if that little house in the middle of the forest doesn’t have insurance? Then what? Other than that I agree with you :)

      • Christopher Boyd

        I agree with you to. If the little house in the middle of the forest does not have insurance than they could get help from to American Red Cross to help rebuild there home. It is also there fault that they built there house in the forest.

        • Kennady Paige

          Red Cross doesn’t help every body though

  • Morgan Chain

    Forest fires, while they can help the environment in some ways, are dangerous. I think we should watch over what we are putting into the environment, because they cause more troubles than you might think. Pay attention to these, and save the environment and prevent terrible things from happening.

  • Kennady Paige

    Really?

  • Kaitlyn Bartling

    I think that someone should at least try to help put the fires out either way. Some people may not think about the problems of living in the middle of the forest, even though they should. Once they move into a house there, it may be hard for them to move away later, or too late. It’s probably not their fault the fire started in the first place.

  • Caitlyn

    We should manage forest firers by trying the small firers first if it doesn’t work then we could trim the forests down #DoNowFire

  • Allie Hallman

    I think people should be more careful as to what they throw out their windows. It’s stuff like this that can cause a forest fire and sometimes they can be extremely deadly. If the people that smoke would stop throwing their cigarettes out the window, and put them in a garbage bag in their car, and throw them away in a trash can, it could slightly decrease the chances of causing a forest fire.

  • Aubz ✌

    The destruction and risk of forest fires greatly over shadow the few helps they cause. We should put more effort to not just stop the fires but just to be more cautious of how we are treating the environment to possibly reduce them in general. I know forest fires happen but the ones by the fault of careless people can easily be reduced. To help against ones we can’t prevent, we should have more stations to help.

  • Josh Matla

    Forest fires can be very beneficial to the environment, but at the same time can cause great havoc among our society. However, we can do our part to create a balance between these two sides. We can let small forest fires occur at a safe size and pace on their own and replenish the nutrients to the forest. And if they get to large, we can then step in and control the fire. We can also prevent the havoc among our society by limiting the development of houses in forest fire zones and decreasing the amount of man-created forest fires.

  • Tyler Medeiros

    Instead of depending on wildfires to control the regulation of the nutrients running thought the soil, this might be a time where us humans should move backwards instead of innovation. I did not know that forest fires are actually that good. for us. I do remember from history that that is how farmers got nutrients back into their soil. Maybe should learn how to properly practice the old agricultural technique of slash-and-burn to moderately control how big the fire is and how much land it burns so it doesn’t effect us negatively but only positively. #BarileClass

  • Jose Padilla

    They should have a siren for the residents living in the forest. That way they know to evacuate quickly and safely. Another thing is they should have a near by shelter so they won’t have to be far from home. I never knew forest fires were a big deal until I read this excerpt , now I’m actually interested and going to look into it more. #BarileClass

  • Tyler pereira

    Fires should be balanced. They should happen, but shouldnt get out of control. Fires can be can be a good thing by helping keep the forest under control. We should have controlled small fires so that when the larger fires do happen they do not get out of control. #barile

  • Tommy

    See the thing is, people hear about wildfires and automatically think they are bad. But little do they know, they actually prevent bigger wildfires and help to regrow a fresher environment #BarileClass

  • Ajay Matine

    To prevent forest fires we must try too prevent over crowdedness of trees, to possiblely keep the fires to a minimum. #BarileClass

  • Kurt Medina

    I never knew forest fires needed to be balanced out and I didn’t know that they actually helped the environment. If these forest fires do help the environment then we should allow some forest fires occur, but we instead should find a way to contain these forest fires so that they won’t hurt anyone or anything, maybe this way we can reduce casualties and still help the forest grow even healthier and larger then before.#BarileClass

  • Santos Romero

    I think we should have a program where we allow controlled forest fires to help manage the growth of the forest. So wild forest fires don’t happen, and the houses in the forest can be affected as minimal as possible if at all. #BarileClass

  • Andrea Petrangelo

    Forest fires may be helpful to a forest but it is risky to let them be. They are healthy for the forest land especially the soil, but dangerous for everything around it. The best idea would be to learn other ways to increase forest health, not just by depending on fires. #BarileClass

  • Nancy Barile

    The answer here may be public awareness – I did not realize this issue until I read this article and watched this video. People need to understand that controlled fires may be
    the answer in this situation. #BarileClass

  • Rosa Arevalo

    Forest fires has its pros and cons, if they’re horrible wildfires that cause a lot of damage then it bad with loosing a lot of trees and also how much money it costs to take them out. But at the same time they’re helpful so we can get a new better environment. Wildfires need to be balanced out by trying to end big wildfires that may be unpreventable in time before they spread. Also the man-caused fires can be prevented by people being more careful. #BarileClass

  • Tori Coots

    I think having forest fires occur not on a everyday basis is okay. Also that I’ve never even thought of the effects that the fires can do to your surroundings. Researching and learning more about wild fires can help us all. #BarileClass

  • Jason M

    Either way you look at it Forest Fires are both necessary and a threat. On one hand, if you have Forest Fires, it can help rejuvinate the aging landscape and creates new nutrients within the soil and for the trees. Although, on the other hand, forests within the United States as of now are very dense which can spread these Forest Fires more quickly and could be more challenging to keep control and many communities live within or near forests which could cause a threat to their safety and well-being. Based on the facts I think that safety would be a top priority overall and we should be involved along with the cities and governments to prevent these Forest Fires from becoming a major problem. #barileclass

  • Luisa Guarin

    I believe that forest fires are good partly because, thanks to them, we can raise fruits and discovernew things about nature more. But I think it is also a greater risk to the community because many lose their homes because of this. For this reason, we should care for the environment to know how to care, do not throw trash in the floor, people who smoke should think hard about how to care for the environment that is one of the greatest resources in order to live. #BarlieClass

  • Cindy veasna

    America spend lots of money to put out fires to protect the people that live within the forest or areas where there are lots of trees. I never thought about natural disasters having to benefit the ecosystem. All I thought about was how natural disasters ruins homes, and people’s lives as well as killing them. Wildfires, hurricanes, and tornados makes people suffer in many ways. They would have no home, food, all their personal belongings would be destroyed and they would basically lose everything. Sometimes their homes build up their lives and if their homes were destroyed, it would be very hard to start over. People die everyday from natural disasters. In my opinion, I care more about people’s lives than the environment. No one should die. If more and more lives are not lost, we can work together to reduce these environmental tragic actions.

    #BarileClass

  • carlavanterpool

    Sometimes the fires are out of our controls, but we need to try to control the fires we make when we head out to the forest. Have safety plan before camping or starting any kind of fire in the forest. And for the people who live there always be cautious. But if they are good for us they should happen , we can control it a bit so no one get hurt by the fire. Without the fires there food we won’t be able to eat , stuff we won’t be able to grow. As for the weather we have no control, but we can check the weather and everyone who does live in the forest can be safe. #BarileClass

  • Brenda Flores

    Fires can be a good thing in our environment but it can also be bad if they get out of hand. They can also be very beneficial and helpful because they provide nutrients , new plants and with that comes in new animals so I think they should be left alone. #BarileClass

    • Christopher Boyd

      I agree with your statement. Forest fires are a good thing too. Some of the things are bad though. Here is question i have to ask you. What do we do if the forest fire get’s out of control? Thanks :)

  • Luis Martinez

    Our role in managing forest fires should be to stay out of it and manage more on protecting the homes around where most fires happen. If you think of it forest fires have been happening for years without use getting involved and have been healthier. It’s only resonantly around 1960 with the whole “only you can prevent a forest fire” campaign that we started getting involved in preventing natural forest fires the ones that are necessary. #barileclass

  • Odaliz vazquez

    I believe that forest fire should be left alone, they have been many years without any human intervention. They can benefit the ecosystem in many different ways. There should not be any human intervention because as is stated they making a chaos out of it. #barileyclass

  • Sang Nuyen

    Forest fires can be caused by humans or sun’s light and it gives us a bad atmosphere because of the smoke but it will bring us good things later. People living near the forests need to be more careful with things that can emit fire, and of course they must always be prepared to escape forest fires from the sun’s light. this can not be avoided because it can occur at any time when the climate is too hot.
    #BarileClass

  • Guest

    #OliverClass

  • westleyrobinson

    I think there should always be someone on the lookout for wildfires.wildfires can basically start from most anything.they could start from lightning,sunlight,or sunlight reflecting off of glass bottles.there is a lot of things that can start a fire.everyone should always be on the lookout in case a fire starts. @kqededspace #donowfire #oliverclass

  • triston.anderson

    We should have rang of fire fighters in a group of 12 around the forest in water trucks on call 24/7 so in case of a wild fire starts they go ahead and start trying to calm it down before it gets out of hand. @kqededspace #donowfire #jernclass

  • Kennady Paige

    @KQEDEdspace
    I think that instead of people trying to think of how to manage forest fires, people should be trying to figure out a plan on how to get the people that live in the forest insurance on their house.
    #DoNowFire

  • Norisha Edge

    I think we should manage we should manage forset fires having a water cite closest to the forest and fire stations. Also I think they should have a special design of technology put in the forest so that when a small fire start it can be detected immediately. This will cause the fires not to spread and damage our environment.

    http://www.cleanvideosearch.com/media/action/yt/watch?v=7vmEzMUjPvo

  • Elanna V

    I believe we should have watch guards patrolling or watching over the forest. We can’t just stop forest fires because the forest also needs it to replenish and rejuvenate the landscape but we can maintain the forest fires from getting out of hand with guards on watch. We should manage them.

    • Zach M

      How are they going to stop fire? How many watch guards will you need to cover a 200,000 acre forest?

  • DreamerDaniel

    @KQEDedspace
    We should have more water in our pipes underground near the forest. to prevent forest fires. Give less carbon dioxied beacause it cause greenhouse effect and greenhouse effect cause the trees to get warm. Clear out underbrush and dead trees.
    #DoNowFire

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/landmanagement/?cid=fsm9_006052

  • Savanna

    Hawtttt

  • Andrew Johnson

    The heck?

  • Raul Arellano

    Throughout centuries forest fires blazed and were put out by the forest itself. I believe the forest fires intensity will only grow in the future if we keep trying to maintain them. Fires are good for the economy and the forest itself. The only outcome that can come from trying to control forest fires TODAY is the blazing Horrors from witch are yet to come in the future.

  • Luis Cabada

    I think we should have more guards patrolling the forest more often. We could stop forest fires getting out of hand.

  • Antorius Norfleet

    I don’t think we should manage forest fires because they’re going to happen with or without us and the only thing we’ve done is make the fires worse by adding more wood to burn

  • Maricruz Becerra

    When wildfire season come around we should just make sure that buildings/structures are safe. I believe this because forests need fires like this te help our forests regrow.

  • Rolando Monroy

    I think the fires should be allowed to happen naturally but should be stopped when they get too close to people’s homes.

  • Becca Schwab

    I think our main role in managing forest fires should be prevention. I think we should clear dry brush, and when a fire is ignited by lightening, we should let it burn unless it is an immediate threat or danger to lives or houses. Mother nature has thirved by burning its own fires long before we got here and who are we to make her stop now?

  • $ DrizzyKa$hOut $ ,

    i believe that we should cut down the trees that are near or surrounding the houses so thay there wont be any houses damaged whenever there might be another forest fire.

  • yamila camarillo

    In my opinion we should be more careful about the forest because either way building are always going to get maintain and people are going to remodel them and from the other side people don’t really pay attention to the forest but we should definitely be more aware of that.

  • Kim N.

    Forest fires help replenish and rejuvenate the health of our forest. We should limit our involvement in forest fires. In order to prevent unnescessary interference in the natural process of the mother nature’s reneissance. Unless it poses a threat to the residence nearby or withing, little interference would benefit our forest and be the more appropriate choice of action.

  • Jaime Sanchez

    I believe we should let fires go on to specific over crowded places because the trees need places to go, but we should maybe control those fires to not let them get out of hand if we let little fires burn the forest a little we could have much more healthier forests.

  • Javier Z

    We should manage forrest fires, by having faster responding teams who can put out the fire faster so we can avoid a huge forrest fire, we could try and do controlled burns where we intentionally burn dry area’s so a forrest fire isn’t created from that dry area later, and we can try to avoid going camping during dry weather to prevent fire’s via campfires.

  • Austeen Truong

    Wildfires should be able to form and dissapear on its own. The only thing we should do is just make sure that everyone is safe. If its important and healthy to the ecosystem, why should we stop it?

  • paullyne Chhuon

    I believe that wildfires will happen with or without us so we should be aware and keep a look out for all the forests that are surrounding us.

  • antony cadenas

    I believe we should just let the fire move and not bother it because it is part of nature and the forests need the fire to grow better and its part of their health. If the fire is close to building we should just move the people or maybe the individuals should build building on forests if they are going to get burn down.

  • Gabby Evaristo

    In my opinion, forest fires has its pros and cons, but I do personally think that the bad outweights the good. We should be more cautious about how we treat the environment. Yes, it is impossible to stop forest fires, but there are definitely many actions we can take to reduce it.

  • Frances Jimenez

    i think by maging the fire you should try to calm it first and have people patrolling around and we need trees for oxgen. we should have rangers go around the forest to patrol just incase the fire starts he can start warning people.

  • omar

    in order to prevent forest fire we should hire fire rangers and place stations around the forest for a certain radius that way they can run routes and prevent fires before they start or when they are berly begging they should also have fire trucks in cases they need them.

  • Jordi Paltan

    we should stop forest fires as soon as possible because the kill our forest and wild life. but at the same time forest fires are because the refresh our forest. but l I believe forest are not go because we loses our trees and wild life.

  • susy Gaeta

    I believe we should let forest fires happen because the earth needs to have fresh, new soil and fires help with that. We shouldn’t interfere with forest fires except not let it get into populated areas.

  • Gregory B

    I believe we should cut down more trees so when the forest does catch on fire i wouldnt be that big.

  • thy mai

    I think we should have more guards patrolling around the area. Fires are good for our environment but it’s also very dangerous if they are out of control, we need to be more aware of that.

  • Guadalupe V

    I believe we should have forest rangers pratroling the forest during hot climates because around that time is when we have a lot of fires. We should only intervene when the wild fire starts to get out of control. We should protect and preserve our forest as mush as we possibly can.

  • grace tuzolana

    People who live near forest ,they should move to another area because those area are dangerouse for them and their properity.

  • alondra munoz

    Wild fires come naturally, but they can become over grown. When fires become over grown and become dangerous to people I think they should stop .
    They can be getting a lot of advantages from a wile fire, but it can not be worth a life .

  • Abraham

    Forest fires are a real problem for our environment.

  • Roshone Sapp

    They should make more grass than brush because grass doesn’t burn as easy as brush

  • Jose Ramirez Ruiz

    We should have water pipes connected to hose. So, when there’s a fire they can hose the fire getting closed to your or others home. So what if we are wasting water, we are saving people’s homes.

    • Melanie Ramsey

      But the question is not how do we put out fires, it is how should we manage fires?

    • Preston K.

      Yea thats definitely the way to go about saving the forest. Lets just hire the Government to put pipes in all the forest. Oh wait… the government is shut down. What needs to happen is about 60 years they needed to let some of the fire burn but its a little to late for that.

  • Steven Diaz Hernandez

    I find that this is interesting because
    Of how us trying to play god backfired at us thanks to are stupidity it got worse…thanks a lot
    Smokey the bear (sarcasm)

  • Iliana Torres

    I believe that we should create small controlled forest fires so that we can clear the areas with a lot of density. That way if a natural fire is started by, say a lightning strike, the forests will not burn as fast and as hot. It will conserve our ecosystem and the beautiful parks that we enjoy so very much. It is a problem that we have, but if you think about it we can find a solution that can help our ecosystems an our homes to stay safe and beautiful.

  • emanc

    wildfire is good for our environment and I think that we should have more guards patrolling the forest and if the fires get too much out of control we should just put them out

  • Roshone Sapp

    MORE GRASS!!!!!!!!

  • Jose frausto

    I am flabbergasted by how many forest fires their are in the United States, we should just control the worlds elements by just trimming or cleaning (repairing) the trees and area.But, it’s natural to have wildfires it rejuvenates the area after fires but, we still have to put the fire out.Unless somebody (idiot) did not check twice to put out his/her fire while leaving their campsite.

  • Teresa Najera

    Wild fires both benefit and threat the environment.There is new life in the forest after a fire,because it controls the growth of the forest.And when the fires go out of hand,it may cause to destroy the forest and harm animals and people that live near the area.

  • Abraham

    Forest Fires are really dangerous.For example, there is animal life in these forests,and if a forest fire does occur animals will be moving to our environment of living.Imagine animals running in the streets there would be chaos in the streets.

    • Melanie Ramsey

      Hi Abe!
      Please re-read the materials, and my comment to Jose R. There WILL be forest fires. What is the best approach to the management of fires?

  • Gino

    I think forest fires are both good and bad

  • Ulices Ventura Perez

    I think to control wildfires is to cut some shrubs or some trees. I say that because all the trees and plants act like fuel. If there isn’t a lot of plants in a forest we can let the fire just happen. We should have stations in certain places, so that when a fire happens it’ll be easier to control.

  • Rubi M.

    I think we should just let the fire happen so that there is new and fresh plants . We should also build a building for firefighters close to the forest, so that if the fire gets way to big there is already firefighters prepared to wash out the fire. And if people don’t agree with letting fires happen then they should move.

  • Roshone Sapp

    LESSSSS BRUSHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Erick Espinoza

    ​We should cut down all the old, and dead trees. Then, we should put it in a specialized building, where they cremate all the dead trees. Although this sound like a good idea, you may also have a problem with all the green house gasses with the burning.

  • Stephen Coleman

    I think forest fires are equally bad and good . But still it would help if we cut the trees down , because it will make fires smaller than acrowded forest would .

  • Teresa Najera

    We can contain the fires by creating fire boundaries around the area that the fires are burning,that way the fires aren’t out of control and there would be no chaos.

  • Maria

    Well I think that there should be fires because it’s an important role in the healthy ecosystem but also we shouldn’t let fires out of control. One of the reasons we should not let wildfires out of control is people live in parts of the forest and it’s really dangerous for those people to live there and stay while those fires are going on. Another reason is that we can manage the forest by cutting down more trees because when there’s a lot of trees the forest will burn more easily and we cut more there won’t be as much fuel that was before.

  • Vanessa Judy Phanouvong

    Wild fires happen regardless of protection and boundaries. In order to limit these wild fires I believe that the most efficient method is to further distance society from nature. We can have guard patrols and a limited number of humans in forests and wild life.

  • Bradley S

    I think we should have poeple clean the forest at least once a month

    • Preston K.

      Right because that is feasible to clear the billions of acres of forest each month. Grass and shrubs don’t even grow that fast in a month. I agree that it should happen but it would be impossible.

  • zaira rios

    Forest fires can be very harmful for people, but forest need that in order to replenish and rejuvenate the soil. However, I think we should have like fire watchers taking care of the forest , so that in case of a fire , we could be able to extinguish it easily and faster, and the fire could not spread to peoples houses or to our community.

  • juliet

    rangers should have fire fighter training as a requirement to be a ranger. that way they can be prepared and trained to take out fires and not have to waite for fire fighters to get there. handling the fire before it spreads

  • Reyna Herrera

    I believe that we should manage fire forests by taking caution of what we take into the forest. For me, I do believe its okay to have wild forest, because it does help the forests at some point, but letting them out of control is bad. We should have more people watching over the forest, from guards, to the people that have homes in the forest or close by… Hopefully this help manage the forests more.

  • anakaren

    i think that wildfires are a good and a bad thing at the same time. its something good that fires occur because it helps the forests to get a newer soil. but at the same time its a bad thing if no one controls them and get out of hand. we should have people watching over the fires so theyre under control and wont spread to other houses or damage anyone.

  • Jose Barraza

    Fires are essential to forest growth , however the fires should be kept under control. I think the fire department should establish borders around the national parks and create a plan on how to keep the fires from being out of hand. By doing this it will be good for the environment, as well as safe.

  • Tiary Xaymountry

    Forest fires are good for the environment around it but shouldnt let it get out of control because it may cause houses and lives to be lost. Therefore there should be a specialized group of people to manage and control these wildfires, i believe if we find a way to help this problem, it can really benefit our society.

  • Nghia Tran

    I think prople should do something to recover the forest. And there is a chance that some people say you’re going to get shrubs moving in very quickly. I think for a lot of people in the Forest Service it’s an unprecedented number in California, just because this fire was so large. I spoke to forest ecologist Hugh Safford about this, and this was his reaction

  • Guadalupe

    I beileve that since forest fires are beneficial to the environment, we should let them burn but patrol them. There should be people who know about forest fires, or just how fires burn in general that help firefighters control and manage them while they burn. Making sure that these fires don’t burn people’s homes is a big issue as well, so by managing these fires in an orderly way, we can help the envronment while still keeping ourselves safe.

  • spen678

    I’d say they should make a firestation close to any forests, so if there is a fire , it would be quick and easy to put out.

  • itskevintranle

    We should use sand or salt as an alternate source to replace water, so we can save resources. Also, We can’t just stop forest fires because the forest also needs it to replenish and rejuvenate the landscape, and try to keep it from not getting out of hand.

  • adrian labaut

    Wildfire is good for our enviroment. I think that we should have more rangers patrolling the forest. If the fires get too crazy we should just put them out.

  • Ace Khonn

    In my opinion, forest fire could be either bad or good. This is because forest fires are good for the environment, but could overwhelm us and get out of control.

  • omar perez

    Forest fires are bad because it kills animals and they would have no homes and nothing to eat.Forest fires are getting out of hand with guards watch.

  • Emonte Tucker

    I believe that wildfires could be good but at the same time it could be a bad thing, for one it revives the forest but also take away lives and home

  • ShawnPablo

    I think they should have cameras for they can keep an eye on the forest for it won’t get out of hand.

  • Mazy Teklu

    I think forests fire is bad for our environment

  • camden barker

    i think we should use salt or sand instead of wasting all that water and we shoud take care of any fire right away so we can get to the next fire

  • stephanie echevarria

    I believe that wildfires are a bad thing and a good thing , they are good because it helps new soil grow which makes trees grow and its bad because it can get out of hands. it would be better to have more people to help out with wildfires.

  • Christian Briones

    people should put emergency fire depts. or locally fire boundries between houses and forest to keep the people safer from the fire

  • sawiros

    i think we should let the fire keep going around the forest not the city so that they will be new fresh plants

  • adrian labaut

    I think we should should let forest fires happen because it helps keep the forest healthy and it benefits us but i also think we shouldnt let the forest fires get too big to where it destroys peoples homes. we should have people regulate on how dry the forests are and notify someone when the fires starting to get to big so it can be put out.

  • Armando Ocampo

    what people should do if they live in a forset is by being more safe with the things that can cause fires and also know what do that if theres a small fire so it does not get bigger and destroy the forest and there home.

  • Thu-Van Nguyen

    I think wildfires are essential to the up-keeping of our national forests. Wildfires should occur to put nutrients back into the soil and prevent mega wildfires from happening. We should be able to do this in order to preserve our national forests.

  • jackie martinez

    In my opinion the best thing to do is to let the fire keep burning as long as they are able to control it and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. I think this is a good thing to do because it’s good for the ecosystem

  • America

    I believe that the fire should should be let to burn at this point because it might be beneficial and help get rid of old unwanted plants, plus it has already gone out of control. But i think we can learn from this and make new laws that that requires someone/ organization to go scope out the area and remove unwanted or possible trees that could potentially aid fires. I don’t believe people should live in/near forests because cities and communities are made for people. the forest is for mother nature and trees. At this point in 30 years there won’t be any forests left to enjoy. If people still want to live in the forest, then they should be the ones to help clear our unwanted trees and take care of our forests.

  • Maurilio Lopez

    We should have the national forest service cut overgrowth and lower branches of mature trees, thus protecting them from fire. Also their should be small controlled fires to minimize the risk of large wild fires that take a long time to be put out and cost a lot of money. They should also reduce the number of trees per acre in high risk areas. There should also be a limit as to how close people can build to forest because they increase the risk for wildfires. Electricity and gas used by the houses can start or make a wildfire worse. I think we should save our forest while we still can.

  • elizabeth flores

    @KQEDedspace I think people that live in forests should be aware of the causes that can bring to them. The consequences that they may face. People shouldn’t live in forests, because us humans make fires, that can burn down years and years of history! Just because they don’t want to get out of forests can cause fires that cost many firefighters lives trying to control them.

  • jason moua

    I think that we should have people who drink and drive clean up the forest because some of the drivers have caused thousands of dollars of damage. So they are basically making up for their wrongs. Keeping our forests clean will result in a healthy forest.

  • ranadagrayes

    I think we should should let forest fires happen because it helps keep the forest healthy and it benefits us but i also think we shouldnt let the forest fires get too big to where it destroys peoples homes. we should have people regulate on how dry the forests are and notify someone when the fires starting to get to big so it can be put out.

  • robert marquez

    We should develope forests laws to protect forests and caution people living near or in forests .

  • Alvina Nguyen

    I think our roles on managing forest fires is important. Forest fires could be good because when the fire burns away the old plants, new plants can grow. While they could be good, they can become dangerous quickly, so we need to find out a way to control them as well.

  • JonathanDeLaRosaa

    I believe that people should not be allowed to the forest. & if people do they shouldn’t make fire camps . The forest fires can help at some point but humans should stay away from living in them.

  • lobo jerry

    we should develop forest laws to protec6t forest and caution people living near or in the forest. we should take more care of them,

  • Brianna Stephens

    I think we should clean the forest and make sure we have rainy weather. Also to make sure no one cuts any more trees so that we can preserve them and have more air.

  • Haaliyah Malveaux

    I feel wildfires are good because the short term effect is smoke and it could kill you but the forest it self will maintain balanced and end up helping nature restore it maintenance.
    http://www.phoenix.edu/forward/perspectives/2012/11/are-wildfires-good-for-the-environment.html

  • Jasmine Stovall

    @KQEDedspace
    @djoh1228
    What do you think our role should be in managing forest fires?

    I think we should allow the forest fires to take it’s course and to put out the flames if they get too close to civilization that is when you start to put it out. The environment is trying to rejuvenate itself and needs to refurnish the soil. We can put it out but only when it gets close enough to homes.

  • Víctor Sarabía

    i believe to manage forest fire is be caution on what bringing to the forest and limited the people in it. Although, fire is part nature the fire guards have to be prepare and trained when occurs.

  • Moniecia Washington

    I think we should create rules regarding cleaning the forest and people not living in there. Also, we should have people working in the forest, patrolling around daily.

  • zaira rios

    I think that we should have controlled fires to protect the people near them and at the same time help the forest.

  • Maricarmen Arcadio

    We should have controlled fires to help rejuvenate our forests.

  • Oscar Frias

    I think we should have controlled forest fires to prevent bigger ones.

  • Name

    i think that we should let the forest alone and let it be. yes help it a little with makeing it not as flammable then let it be.

  • marcus oliva

    what i think is that peple should go in the forest and start to trim down bits of trees so the tress can not be al crambt together. so air start to go in and they should get payed pepole so they can go water the forest once in a while so fires would not start.

  • Name

    I think we should have people go it to the forest with flamethrowers so it will be less damage and it will be more undercontrol if we do that than just waiting for a wildfire just to pop up and set the forest on fire by itself and the after the fire is at the a good enough length and hopefully it will be burnt enough just put it out with water so it will not spread more an we want it to @MrVhoover @KQEDedspace #DoNow Fire

  • Safaa Jamshed

    My opinion of forest fires, since they seem more deleterious than they are beneficial, is that they should be stopped and prevented in any way possible. Fires like the ones in Yosemite and Mt. Diablo caused many people to have to leave their homes. Unfortunately, so many firefighters are forced to leave their families for days because of careless people who do not pay attention to what they are doing and do things such as not putting out fires correctly. I think that the worst part is not fires but people who make the fires. These people do not care enough about our earth. So many forests are destroyed and people are not able to go out and see the beauty of the world. We should do everything we can to resist forest fires.
    Ms. Chen’s Student

  • Aabid Jamshed

    Wildfires have been going on forever. Before humans, the four major
    causes were lightning, spontaneous combustion, volcanic eruptions, and sparks
    from rockfalls. Now, however, entirely new sources have been introduced.
    Discarded cigarettes, arson, power lines, matches, and sparks from equipment all
    contribute to the ignition of fires. So we know how they start, but how can they
    be stopped? The answer is simple: don’t let them start in the first place.
    Although water, fire retardant and various chemical substances are effective
    when it comes to extinguishing flames, it would save so many lives and conserve
    so much energy and fuel to kill the blaze before it starts. Why send fire
    response planes and helicopters into the sky to stop a fire that shouldn’t be
    there in the first place? People should take extra steps to make sure that their
    last cigarette was properly stamped out and disposed of. Power lines should be
    checked regularly for malfunctions or instabilities. They should also be placed
    away from forests and other vegetation or dry brush. And don’t burn your
    property — dispose of it properly. If you’re doing it for the money… think
    about it for a second. That’s kind of really immoral. As long as the fire doesn’t pose a threat to humans, it’s not too big a deal. After all, fires refresh the soil and in the long run are good for the trees and such. Fire is good stuff. In short, wildfires by human causes can be effectively prevented. You just have to know how.

    -Ms. Chen’s Student

  • Thomas W

    There is literally nothing we can do if it’s gonna burn it’s gonna burn

    • Tyler Shoin

      WOW such great thinking!

  • caleb pederson

    Forest fires are bad for the environment becuase it destroys animal life and habitats.Also we can cut trees in surten areas so the fire cant jump from places and cause more damage. ;)

  • caleb pederson

    its all going to burn just get out

  • Cornelious

    I think fire is bad so i reported whatis the fire doing in the forest?

  • caleb pederson

    we can get C1-30 and dropp tarn on the fire and get shnucks and dropp water and we will live

  • Cornelious

    Im coming home

  • Cornelious

    Почему леса в огне

  • caleb pederson

    I think the forest should run from the fire

  • luke a

    we need stop smoking in the wildlife thats what smokey the bear says

  • caleb pederson

    Okay ?

  • Jesse

    I think that we should atleast check monthly on the forest, or have a volunteer group check and clean the forest every month.I don’t really see how we can control forest fires better, other then adjusting the trees to where they wont spread the fires.

  • friguy

    I think that people should focus building fire fighting bases in high risk areas in both cities and forests to make the response to any given fire quick and focused. I believe that this will help prevent large fires before it becomes big enough to do too much damage. Also, I think that heavier fire safety laws should be put in place to prevent man made fires. Ms. Chen’s student.

  • Jack K.

    I think that we should not make fires when camping unless we have to. Also right after we are done with the fires, we should put them out.

  • Charles Weber

    I take note of your concern over forest fire loss. There is nothing more
    destructive than a forest fire, not only to plants but also to most animals. I
    suggest that we should take much more action to prevent such loss than we do. I
    think I know of an inexpensive way of creating a forest fire break that would
    limit the damage. That is to create cleared strips with a plywood wall,
    especially if combined with a wooden pipe sprinkler system. If the wall were
    treated with sodium silicate solution it would become fire proof itself. I do
    not have data as to the feasibility of preventing rain from washing out the
    sodium silicate, but I am confident that certain paints would work. You may see
    this discussed in detail in http://www.angelfire.com/nc/isoptera/index.html
    .

    As for preemptive fires, deliberate setting of fires in our forests borders on insanity. Letting
    accidental fires rage out of control is almost as nutty. A much more sensible solution would be to
    remove and grind up debris and brush either for farm soil organic amendments or
    to generate electricity, the last giving a by product of potassium hydroxide
    for acid soil. It would be much safer than coal mining and probably cheaper.

    Even if I have not persuaded you that forest fires are not a good idea, at
    least I am sure you would agree that protecting people’s wooden homes
    located in forests would be in order. It is not too smart to allow our homes outside
    of forests to burn down either. When they are rebuilt, huge amounts of energy
    and wood are used. Funerals for the ones who fail to make it out in time use a
    fair amount of energy also. My vote is none of such funerals and many less for
    coal miners by use of sodium silicate.

    Sincerely, Charles Weber