Forests and Fires

The Allegheny National Forest is burning.

On purpose.

Fire Specialists with the National Forest Service conducted a prescribed burn on the Jake’s Rocks recreation area on Good Friday. The test burn started at noon today and the burn will continue until about 6 p.m., with around 86 acres planned to burn. The goal is to reduce shade-tolerant plant species and the overgrowth of mountain laurel that dominates the area, making it difficult to travel for both people and animals. The burn is expected to allow for the oak and other shade-intolerant species to get their advantage back, and will make the entire area more attractive to a wider diversity of fauna.

I got to watch. It felt wrong, to be contributing to the deliberate burning of the forest.

But I guess that’s why they call it land management.

Also, I got to wear a hard hat and learn how to deploy an emergency fire tent.

So. Good times.

Here are some photos.

2 thoughts on “Forests and Fires

  1. I think they should leave nature as it is. Those plants had a purpose and a reason to be there and burning them for the benefit of making it easier for spoiled people doesn’t seem right. We should be the ones detouring around such situations! I seriously doubt it was a problem for any animals; quite the opposite, it was probably their shelter and a food source. They always find out later on down the line that they make mistakes upsetting the balance of the land and the living things on it. 86 acres is huge and with bees in particular becoming scarce i’m wondering if they’ve taken any of that into consideration. No doubt many animals, birds and insects used those plants for shelter and food….do the authorities even know or care? My guess is that very few people were inconvenienced but they complained so they just came along and burned it and I find that sad as the human race always gets whatever they think they want or need and to hell with nature.


    1. Actually the native American tribes that lived here had a long history of burning swaths of land to improve outcomes. Lots of land areas are managed in that way. But I’m sure many share your opinion.


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