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.
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.