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Burn The Forest To Save It, Firefighters Argue

Smokey Bear had it wrong. The way to control fire is with more fire.

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We spoke to a firefighter on the front lines about how we must rethink the way we control fires as the climate crisis intensifies, and how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey’s Civilian Climate Corps can make that happen.

Indigenous people across the west and around the world have used prescriptive burns for centuries to keep the forest healthy and prevent catastrophic wildfires. Firefighters and Indigenous leaders say it’s time to return to that practice.

“I think it’s fairly easy to see that if we put these forests back into a condition where [they] can handle fire, it actually benefits the environment,” said Steve Rondeau, a member of the Klamath Tribes, to More Perfect Union. “The land, it’s here because of the processes. Fire is the process.”

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