I recently helped set fire to hundreds of acres of land. I am not an arsonist, I was practicing fire ecology. I was taught by professionals from the Nature Conservancy and the Karuk Nation. For thousands of years Karuk, Yoruk and countless other tribes burned seasonally to favor landscapes of acorn producing oaks, fruits, nuts, weaving sticks and game. A hundred some years ago, the United States Forest Service banned this practice and the unburned branches built up to catastrophic proportions. The new normal are milllion acre eco-cidal wildfires that show no mercy for countless habitats, human and non-human. Finally, controlled burning is becoming accepted again.
Prescribed burning is executed with military precision. Control lines are dug and or watered around the perimeter before hand. When the weather, wind and humidity reach the precisely optimal conditions, the leaf litter is set ablaze. Faster than a meth-fueled army of pruners and chippers, the understory is opened up and ash and black carbon blanket the earth. Sentries stand watch for escaped embers, the burn bosses crackle their approval over radio transceivers. Herds of ungulates and fire-loving fungi itch in anticipation for the rain fed surge of new growth.
Using our over-abundance of dead vegetation for our cooking, heating and carbon farming needs is another way of reducing risk of uncontrollable wildfire. Fabricating environmental technologies like rocket stoves, rocket mass heaters, and char kilns is my recent obsession. More pics to come soon.