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Author Archives: Andrew Slack

A firefighter protects a park sign and supporting crews contain the fire within a narrow strip under an old growth canopy on the edge of the prairie.

Ask an Expert

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Fire is a natural part of the environment and benefits many forests. Prescribed fires have long been used to encourage growth of beneficial and native plant species and reduce the amount of combustible vegetation that could fuel catastrophic wildfires. Thousands of prescribed fires are carried out across the country every year, and they are integral to forest restoration and stewardship.

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Photo by Andrew Slack

Notes from the North: Crossing the Bridge

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Bob grinned as he confirmed to us that in fact, we would be crossing the bridge. “Weren’t you warned? It’s the only way across. Move slow, stay on the left, and you’ll be fine.” After Bob climbed onto the first plank, his dogs jumped past him and trotted fearlessly across the bridge. We followed and separated ourselves to ease the stress on the old cables and limit any swaying. The milky-emerald water of the Mattole River rushed below, overflowing from recent storms.

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Panorama of a prescribed fire at Boyes Prairie in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park. The three panels show immediately before, during, and after the fire.

Prescribed Fire and Coast Redwood Prairies

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During a brief burn window in October, crews from California State Parks and the National Park Service diligently worked to restore the natural process of fire to various ecosystems in over 2,800 acres of Redwood National and State Parks.

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