A native blue gentian, Gentianella wislizenii, which had virtually disappeared from mountain meadows in southern Arizona. Natural fire helped to regenerate growth by the thousands — lack of fire had previously prevented regeneration.
Fire plays a vital role in maintaining the health of many natural areas.
Restoring the natural presence of fire to landscapes — either through controlled burns or by letting naturally started fires burn — has brought new life to rare plants and animals and the habitats in which they live.
Excluding all naturally occurring fires, in contrast, can lead to a build up of undergrowth that fuels extreme fires that threaten both people and nature.
Learning to live with fire requires understanding the role of fire in nature:
- A certain amount of fire is sometimes necessary to allow animals and plants to thrive;
- Some fires that do not pose a threat to people or nature should be allowed to take their natural course;
- Individuals can take steps to protect their families, homes, pets and other structures from forest fires; and
- We must live and recreate carefully and compatibly with nature.
What You Can Do
- If you live in a fire-prone area, start now to prepare your community and your home:
- Build your home out of fire-resistant material;
- Learn what it takes to become a Fire Adapted Community;
- Download the Firewise Communities Program's list of 50 things you can do to protect your home; and
- Visit the National Interagency Fire Center website Protecting your Home from Wildland Fire.
- Learn what it takes to become a Fire Adapted Community.
- Read our top tips to avoid starting fires accidentally.
- Donate now to support the Conservancy work to maintain fire’s role where it benefits people and nature, and keep fire out of places where it is destructive.