Conservation group works to prevent catastrophic wildfires.


Wildfires are preventable with the use of cooler-burning prescribed fires. Since Jan. 1, 2005, state and federal employees monitored nearly 35,000 wildfires, which burned more than 3 million acres across North America. Some fires destroyed personal property, including more than 250 buildings. Each year, new homes are being built in forests left unmanaged for years. These forests are full of dry fuels that--when conditions are right--act as tinder and kindle huge wildfires.

State and federal agencies team up with nonprofit conservation groups, such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, to make the forests and homes safer from wildfire. When moisture conditions are perfect, land managers initiate a prescribed burn, which is a safe, cool-burning and manageable fire before fuel loads, like pine needles and dead branches, build to an unsafe level and catastrophic wildfire takes over.

"Prescribed fire is a necessity in active land management. When you can mimic a burn that took place naturally in the forest's history, you make forests safer and improve wildlife habitat. Everyone benefits," said Dr. James E. Kennamer NWTF's Senior Vice President for...

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