Prescribed and controlled burns hope to help prevent terrible fi - News, Sports and Weather

Prescribed and controlled burns hope to help prevent terrible fire season

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Fighting fire with fire is something numerous fire agencies and the forest service does every year. 

It’s all in an effort “to reduce that fuel so when the hotter months come and the grass grows up and dies again there won’t be that fuel load so we can handle it a lot easier,” said Nick Brown.

So why do this in late April and May?

“The weather is in our favor, it’s a big factor with burning. When we get into July and August that's when we naturally have big forest fires, everything is just moving right along, the humidity level is low, and we can’t control them then,” said Brown.

You’ll see these burns on specific days because the humidity needs to be above 20 percent, there needs to be little wind, and they try to do it after the hottest part of the day to keep the fire at bay.

Besides possibly saving homes and other structures, there is another benefit to these fires.

“We burn it off and it puts the nutrients in the ground for new growth to come back and it's surprising how quickly it grows back and the animals move right in,” said Brown.

Before a controlled burn in Black Eagle it was easy to see how much the animals like the new growth, and farmers use this technique as well on their fields to jump start the soil.

So for now fire fighters will continue to fight fire with fire, in hopes of saving us from a terrible fire season like last year.

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