Controlled Burns

A controlled burn is the process of setting low-intensity, planned fires to prevent future wildfires and revitalize forest ecosystems. Fire plays an integral role in the natural regeneration of many forests, clearing underbrush, eliminating insects and invasive species, returning nutrients to the soil, and opening up the canopy for new tree growth. Some ecosystems—like the longleaf pine of the southeastern United States—are fire-dependent; many species are adapted to living with frequent burns, and periodic ground fires help these communities maintain their biodiversity.