Take A Hike Through the Boise National Forest
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If you're burning to know more, fuel your curiosity with this:

Using Fire:

Fire is part of the forest. In fact, fires help keep forests healthy. How?

Fires clean up dead branches on the ground. They also burn up piles of leaves or needles. The ashes from the needles and branches add nutrients to the soil faster than if they rotted away.

Fires also burn up trees that have diseases or insects. The disease and insects burn up too. That way other trees won't get infected.

Prescribed fires

Forest managers start fires under safe weather conditions. And, choose appropriate areas to burn. These fires are called "prescribed fires."

Fire triangle

Fire needs three things to burn. Oxygen, fuel and heat. They make up what's called "the fire triangle." Take any of the three elements away, and a fire can't burn. Which element is taken away when water is dropped on a fire? Which is removed when a line is scraped around a fire?

What's a fuel? It's anything that will burn.

Surface fuelsWhat fuels do you find in a forest?

Forests have plants at different levels - canopy, understory, and forest floor. So, the fuels in the forest will be at different levels, too. "Aerial fuels" do not in touch the ground. They are at least 1 meter (39 inches) above the ground. Aerial fuels could be branches, leaves, and bark still on the tree or tall bushes. Ground fire"Surface Fuels" are on the ground. Here you'd find bushes, logs, stumps and fallen leaves, needles, branches, and cones. "Ground fuel" is anything that will burn below the surface fuels. That could be roots or rotting branches, leaves and needles.

Surface fireGround fires burn the ground fuels. These fires usually don't have much flame, they smolder. Surface fires burn the surface fuels. And, crown fires burn the aerial fuels. Crown fires spread from tree to tree and are the most destructive.

Crown fireHere's another way fires spread: fuel ladders. Fuel ladders form when fuels at different levels touch. Fuel ladders move fire up from the ground into the tree tops.

Fuel laddersVery hot facts:

Fires need 3 things to burn: oxygen - air; heat - something to start the fire; fuel - things that burn.

Fire is a natural part of the forest.

Prescribed fires imitate the good that natural fires accomplish.

Wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, humidity, and the moisture in fuels are measured before lighting a prescribed fire.