The fire management program at Lava Beds is managed to use natural and planned "prescribed" fires as tools to improve our natural resources. Lightning-caused wildfires also occasionally sweep the landscape, as occurred in August 2008.
Here firefighters start a small "test burn" to be sure conditions are good for a fire. The fuels (grass and bushes) need to be dry enough to carry the fire, but not too dry. If so, the fire might be too intense and kill too much of the vegitation.