Wildland firefighter stands on a hill in the forest near ground fire.

Wildland Fire Managers have the option to manage naturally ignited fires to achieve resource benefits where fire is a major component of the ecosystem, and where specific pre-stated resource management objectives in predefined geographic areas can be accomplished. The goal of managing fires for resources benefits is to allow fire to resume its natural role in the ecosystem.

The Crater Fire was a good example of a fire managed for resource benefit:

Started: May 25, 2004
Cause: Lightning
Acres: 190

Located on the west slope of Crater Mountain, this wildland fire was ignited by lightning the evening of May 25, 2004. Crater Mountain is in the Mono Craters area, south of Mono Lake and east of Hwy 395 and the Sierra Nevada mountains.

This wildland fire showed little activity throughout much of its burning, but was monitored daily by the Inyo National Forest Fire Management Team. It successfully burned off surface fuels in the burn area, helping to create a more natural situation for the fuels in the area, and helping to decrease the likelihood of a high-intensity fire in the future.