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Protect Our West: Controlled Burns vs Wildfires

Learn more about the differences between wildfires and controlled burning, as we stand along side the Protect our West campaign.

Trees and other forms of vegetation grow by capturing carbon from the atmosphere and assembling it into their own structure. This means that any forest or natural area is a slowly growing pool of carbon. This carbon is flammable. This means that, in the fullness of time, all forests will eventually burn.

Forest fires are natural a natural occurrence, and without human intervention they occur at fairly regular intervals. Nearly every form of forest experiences a fire every few decades. This is also true for grassland, prairie, plains and taiga. The accumulation of carbon represented by the growing grasses, leaves and timber will catch fire naturally. In fact, human intervention would be required it to stop it from catching fire.

What is more, fire can be exceedingly healthy for the forest or grassland in question. It will clear out the underbrush. This allows surviving plants take over and grow more strongly. This is especially beneficial to the larger trees and animals. Fire drives back insects and other infestations. The cleared underbrush makes space for new vegetative life while allowing the animals to move more freely. The only living things that do not directly benefit from the occasional burning of a forest are human beings who own property in that Forest.

This is why forest fires are fought with such zeal. However, this can be counterproductive. Without occasional burns to clear the forest of debris, the carbon will continue to accumulate. If and when the wildfire comes, then it will be far more serious. The fallen timber and other carbon biomass will allow the fire to burn to greater proportions and higher temperatures. The wildfire will then begin to threaten the hardwood trees and other large forms of life. Fires such as these cause permanent damage instead of temporary cleansing.

The proper solution is the controlled burn. Responsible human stewardship of natural environments requires occasional small fires to clear the debris and promote the health of forest. A controlled burn is designed to cause the minimum damage to human property. Although these burns can be difficult and even dangerous, they are the best solution we have at this time. When the choice is between a controlled burn and a wildfire, the controlled burn is the obvious choice.

The Protect Our West campaign was started by the Coors Banquet to assist with issues such as these. Coors and their affiliates have helped to raise $250,000 in annual funds for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation helps to support firefighters and their families. Firefighters contribute to the maintenance of healthy forests. The Protect Our West campaign helps to keep our forests strong. Coors is happy to do their part to support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation through the Protect Our West project.

Cowboy Lifestyle Network challenges you to support the many brave firefighters who are fighting on the frontlines of wildfires to “Protect Our West” by drinking Coors Banquet.
Remember to drink Coors Banquet beer at any bar, concert, restaurant, rodeo, tavern and of course, any retail store. Meanwhile, you will be directly benefiting Coors’ Protect Our West Campaign and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF).

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Peter the "Cowboy" is a gunslinger style writer from Bismark, North Dakota. Controversy is his middle name. He loves the cowboy lifestyle and being an American.

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