Fire Conservation: What You Can Do

Living with Fire

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