Wildfires are roaring across some areas of Montana, and despite the obvious destruction, the fires are important for the regrowth of these ecosystems.
Julia Berkey, a Forestry Outreach Specialist at the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, explained, "Montana is a fire-adapted ecosystem, so whether you are living on the east side, in the grassland, or the west side, in heavy timber, those places would have been on fire, or dealt with fire on a pretty regular basis.”
She continued, “Because every ecosystem in Montana would have had fire at some point or another they are adaptive in some way. Then it's just a matter of how.. Like the grass, when grass is burned, it's essentially like mowing the lawn - you are just removing the top layer and the roots are still there. You could walk through that the next year and it would be just as good if not better.”
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Wildfire WatchLatest information on wildfires in Montana
Wildfire Terminology 101This glossary is intended to help people better understand the terminology used by fire crews and in news reports.