Yes, you read that right. We NEED MORE FIRES in Montana. How can that be? It seems that each year, fire conditions are getting more and more severe. How would MORE fires help? Well, since what some call the "Smokey The Bear days" begun, we have been focusing all of our efforts on suppressing fires. Instead of allowing them to do what they are naturally supposed to do. Obviously we cannot just let wildfires go unchecked. The cost of home and property losses would be astronomical. But, some of our forest NEED to burn to remain healthy.

According to the Helena Independent Record

Fuels piled up on the ground and young trees filled in the open spaces that used to help slow down flame spread. Fire suppression has succeeded in containing about 97% of annual fires. But the 3% that escape consume 90% of the area burned.  

That may mean more smoke in spring and fall as those thinning and burning projects nibble away at a century’s backlog of forest fuel. But it may also mean fewer communities burned over, and faster wildlife and scenic landscape recovery after the summer wildfires that will occur.

The suppression of fires is just putting a band aid on a bigger wound. The deadfall and beetle kill trees are just turning our forests into ticking time bombs. Controlled burns are one way to clean up the fuel that is blanketing the forest floor. The cost of fire suppression is going to continue to climb. Scientist believe that if some money is allocated to thinning and burning projects, it could lower the cost of fire fighting efforts each year.

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