In the forest, students learn the value of fire

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As damaging as they may sometimes be, forest fires have their benefits, as students at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) have learned firsthand at the Yale-Myers Forest.

For their course on fire science and policy, the students travel to the 7,840-acre Connecticut forest, where they can conduct ecological research. There, they ignite a “prescribed burn” — an intentional forest fire — as a way of clearing unwanted vegetation and developing a forest structure.

In a video on the F&ES website, the students and their instructor, Ann Camp, discuss how fire has long been used by foresters to control vegetation, and how prescribed burns can be used to create healthier forest lands. In fact, the students say, fire is seen as an “integral part of ecosystems” and their management.


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