When Fire Is Good
It thins the forest, releases nutrients into the soil,and improves the habitat of plants and animals.
A critical role in the Forest Service’s stewardship of our national forests is management of fire. During the summer fire season, 10,000 wildland firefighters are employed to contain wildfires — 98 percent of which are contained within 24 hours of detection...Expand The Story Close The Story
The era of fire suppression left many forests with too many trees – too much fuel.
“That’s where our problem lies – not letting fire take its course, and putting out fires for 60, 70, 80 years. That’s why we have these catastrophic events, and everybody’s upset. The real deal is that this needs to happen.”
– Dan Hauswald
Forest Service Burn Boss
“We’re restoring a natural process and trying to help the forest get healthy again.”
– Ali Dean
Fire Management Service
“Fire is like whiskey. You don’t judge it as soon as it comes out of the still.” – Ali Dean
“While the life of the forester in the field is often rough, many times exceedingly hard, and always without most of the comforts of life, it is to those of us who have been following it the most delightful of occupations. In few other professions can a man lead so useful a life.”
– Gifford Pinchot
First chief of the Forest Service, 1901
- Airborn Firefighters -
Dropped into remote fires by helicopter,
rappellers pack in their own
rope, helmets, tools and food – enough to survive for 36
hours – in packs that weigh up to 120 pounds.
On the ground they use tools such as pulaskis – one end axe, one end hoe – to separate black from green and contain fires.
Most burns require between two and four rappellers and up to three days to put out.
The Wenatchee Valley Rappellers was founded after a devastating fire in 1970 that claimed more than 130,000 acres in Wenatchee National Forest.
Since rappellers began working in the Pacific Northwest’s Region 6 in 1972, they have responded to more than 4,000 fires on public lands.
Smokejumpers have been parachuting into remote wildfires for almost 80 years. The practice began in Washington State’s North Cascades, where fires are difficult to reach from roads and trails.
Today, Smokejumpers around the country continue to be deployed with axes and chainsaws to contain hard-to-reach fires.
Smokejumpers in Oregon’s Redmond Smokejumper Base respond to an average of 75 fires every season.
Crews drop enough food and gear into the forest with smokejumpers for them to be self-sufficient for up to 48 hours.
“Once you’re in the plane, there’s no going back...”
“...We’ve never had anybody back away from the door.”
- Bill Selby
For over 100 years the Forest Service has been committed to the preservation and stewardship of America’s most precious natural resources: our public lands.
Through their tireless efforts, 193 million acres of grasslands and National Forests are ours to explore, now and for generations to come.
Any of Filson’s contributions made with the U.S. Forest Service do not by direct reference or implication convey U.S. Forest Service endorsement of Filson’s products or activities.