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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.

Why is fire used to manage redwood forests?

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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.

Fire-suppressed sequoia grove โ€“ note the large fire scar on the giant sequoia on the right.

Managing for Fire

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Through thoughtful stewardship practices, the ways we seek to emulate aspects of the natural state of the forest can also work in conjunction with how we manage forestland into the future.

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.