The Indigenous Practice of Controlled Burning to Prevent Wildfires


Four out of five of the largest wildfires ever recorded in California have occurred this year five, million acres of land have burned on the west coast. As officials look for solutions they're turning more and more to the native Americans who have long been forced out of tending to the land they once stewarded. So successfully, specifically officials have begun working more with tribal leaders on prescribed burning knowing when and. Where to intentionally burned parts of the forest in a manageable way to prevent out of control wildfires in the future quoting the New York Times long before California was California native Americans used fire to keep the land where they lived healthy that meant intentionally burning excess vegetation at regular intervals during times of the year when the weather would keep blazes smaller in cooler than the destructive wildfires burning today. The work requires a deep understanding of how wins would spread flames down a particular hillside or win lighting a fire in a forest would foster the growth of certain plants and that knowledge has been passed down through ceremony in practice. But until recently, it has mostly been dismissed as unscientific and quotes. Various organizations run by native American, communities have worked with other conservancy nonprofits and private landowners over the years to help them repair forested areas and make them more sustainable and in some parts of the southeastern United States prescribed fire has already been in practice officially by state governments for several decades. But on the West Coast, the practice has long been suppressed quoting again over the course of California's long colonial history native Californians were violently systematically systematically stripped of the ability to tend the land they had lived on for centuries as white settlers pursued gold, timber, and territory. This, dark history unfolded while modern firefighting agencies and techniques were formed under the heavy influence of Europeans who wanted to maximize timber halls said, Mary Huffman director of the indigenous. Peoples Burning Network the Nineteen Twenty article written by William B. Greeley in the Timmerman dismisses light burning as practiced by quote the Indians in various Western pine forests long before the advent of the white man end quote as fallacy propaganda that if he did would lead to the destruction of lucrative trees bill trip director of natural resources in environmental policy for the Kuru. Tribe Department of Natural, resources wrote in a piece for the Guardian the crew people were shot for burning as recently as the nineteen thirties. The idea of prescribed burning remained polarizing for decades as federal and state firefighting agencies were built up around the idea that wildfire was an enemy to be defeated using military-style tactics not a tool that could help prevent destruction and quotes. Now the US Forest Service and the State of California will be working intentionally with tribal leaders on prevention tactics including prescribed fire. It's a step in the right direction, but like everything will come with complications not only have the centuries of suppression built a deep mistrust, but the land itself has changed and new tactics accounting for climate change will need to be teased out while it's definitely a net positive Belinda Brown, a member of the Cosa Band of the Jima way ought to gain nation and travel partnerships director for the low Mukasey Restoration Project said quote we're getting that I told you so hard. My prayer is that ignorance won't stop us again end quote.

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