Chewing Up Fuels to Reduce Fire Risk — The Nature Conservancy in Washington

It’s very satisfying to watch the machine work and to know that nearby communities will be safer and other trees will have the opportunity to grow bigger and stronger with more access to water, nutrients and sunlight once this undergrowth is cleared away.

Much of the forests in Central Washington are dense and overgrown, because we’ve suppressed the natural low-intensity fires that burned across this landscape for generations before the early 1900s.

This means trees are competing with each other for water, nutrients and sunlight, and become more susceptible to disease and insect.

These conditions, along with a warming climate, increased drought, and a growing population moving into forested areas creates the conditions for bigger, hotter fires that confront firefighters, endanger people and destroy water quality and wildlife habitat.

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