Fire plays a natural role in determining how the various habitats exist. They may change through time in response to changing conditions of temperature and moisture and other factors. The habitats can be described within a range of natural variation and these parameters are partly defined by the role that natural fire takes.
Looking at the landscape in the absence of modern human mechanical intervention, but including the possible influence of aboriginal fire use, a classification of natural fire regimes is produced.
The severity of the fires will also influence the resulting habitat. One way to measure the severity is the percentage of replacement. A totally even age stand would indicate that the previous fire was severe enough to eliminate the previous stand regardless of however mixed the ages were.
Effects Of Fire Suppression
But once the base level of fire conditions under natural conditions is determined, scientists can start determining how far from those levels a particular forest is today. This difference from normal fire regime to present day conditions is the key.
Prescribed Fire - Getting Back To Normal
It was not until fire was thought of as destructive for a period of time and was thus suppressed that there were the deviations from normal. Now we realize that we must live with nature instead of trying to control nature.
Did You Know?
Bighorn Canyon NRA contains a portion of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. The current debate on management of the herd - 188 strong as of 2009 - concerns its size and whether or not it has grown too large for its protected range. More...