While surface fire in pine forests does not require severe drought, lightning fires
are more common during drought (Lorimer and Gough, 1988; Pyne et al.
Over the years, by igniting one or perhaps two prescribed fires in each targeted area, they hope to reduce the forest fuels to a safe level so that future lightning fires
can be allowed to take their natural course in these middle-elevation regions, which make up about 10 percent of the Sierra parks.
in North Dakota grasslands and in pine-savanna lands of South Dakota and Montana.
Firefighters responded to at least a dozen lightning fires
Thursday on the Middle Fork Ranger District in the Willamette National Forest, officials said.
In Yosemite, specialist Caroline Lansing reports that 75 percent of the acreage of that national park is considered to be in a prescribed natural fire zone: Lightning fires
will be allowed to burn under conditions decided upon in advance, with fire specialists keeping close track of each fire's progress.
Three other lightning fires
sparked in a Saturday morning storm were contained before they could grow to an acre in size, the agency said.
As for just letting wildfires do their thing, fire officers warily remember the Yellowstone fires of 1988, when several lightning fires
that were allowed to burn got away and eventually ripped through 1.
Most of the lightning fires
in the Umpqua National Forest remain small, according to spokeswoman Susan Johnson, adding that firefighters have "a good handle" on them.
It's a natural phenomenon to have lightning fires
to burn weeds and grass away.
Long before there was human activity in North America, certain flora species had adapted to lightning fires
, which still account for 10 percent of the fires in the U.
With the number of lightning fires
and the commitment of resources, it is even more important for forest visitors to be extremely careful with their campfires," said Sheryl Tooker-Dilley, deputy fire staff officer on the Umpqua National Forest.
The Oregon Department of Forestry has pitched in and taken the lead on fighting some of the lightning fires