Ecologist Frank Lake describes the importance of fire on the landscape in northern California. Photo: Nick Fisher, OPB. Ecologists Paul Hessburg and Bill Gaines search for woodpeckers in the footprint of a previous fire on Freezeout Ridge in Washington State. Moose in a meadow. Photos: Kevin Freeny, OPB.
Not all wildfire is a force of destruction. Many of our favorite plants and animals have evolved to depend on it. This short video from Oregon Public Broadcasting takes us from the forests of eastern Washington to those in northern California to highlight the benefit of wildland fire to plants, animals and indigenous peoples.
Regular, low-intensity fires keep forest and meadow habitats diverse and thriving for multiple species. Smoke keeps streams cooler by reflecting the sun's heat which provides the perfect habitat for salmon. Local Tribes depend on the food and cultural resources provided by these fires.