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Are forest fires ever good for the environment?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Forest fires may seem like a bad thing, and they usually are. However, land-management professionals and firefighters sometimes set fires for good reasons. Fires can be used to promote new, healthy forest growth by clearing away brush and leaving the revitalized soil free. Clearing away brush from the forest floor also can help prevent rapid spread of wildfires by removing much of the kindling that feeds them and helps them get out of control. Once a wildfire has begun, firefighters may set a firebreak - - clearing out a patch of land by fire to remove all of its flammable materials so it can act as a natural firewall. Whenever a fire is deliberately set by professionals for one of these reasons, it's called a "controlled burn" or "prescribed fire."

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