Small Fires Ignite Change In Forest Fire Policies

by Alex Scott, age 9

    Forest fires can be bad, but they also can be good. For many years people thought that all forest fires should be put out. Then they realized stopping the small fires made big fires worse.
The brush left on the ground without small fires created fuel for big fires because of the dry, dead plants. Any spark or match could cause a huge out-of-control fire.
    In the early 1970s the National Park Service in the United States of America  started allowing natural fires to burn themselves out.  This tactic went well until 1988, when many fires destroyed parts of Yellowstone National Park. Hundreds of elk, black bears, deer, moose and other animals died in this ferocious and dangerous fire. but
animals such as fish and deer mice were fine.
    After the fires of Yellowstone, people began to build homes in the forests of the west. This meant fire fighters had to put the flames out in order to protect the people.
    Still, sometimes the fires are so big that almost nothing can stop them. It can take days or even weeks to stop certain fires. The only thing that can really stop these fires is the arrival of cool, wet weather.

[Source: Ranger Rick]