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Forest Fire Prevention Specialists

History

Fire has been the nemesis of humans since the beginning of time, especially as people formed cities. One notable conflagration was the Great Fire of London in 1666, which consumed more than 80 percent of the city’s buildings (most of which were constructed with wood).

Fire not only damages and destroys large cities, it can also cause catastrophic destruction to forests and other natural areas. While fire is an essential part of healthy ecosystems, it can cause serious issues in areas in which land management activities such as land restoration and forest thinning that could aid in fire suppression have not been implemented due to budget cuts, policy decisions, or a shortage of staff. Additionally, scientists have linked global warming to the increasing frequency and ferocity of wildfires.

In 2018, 58,083 wildfires destroyed 8,767,492 acres in the United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. This is a significant increase from the 67,743 wildfires and 5,509,995 acres destroyed in 2016. Wildland fires pose a significant danger to the homes and other structures that are located in these areas, as well as residents. “More than 70,000 communities and 44 million homes are at risk from wildfire in the wildland urban interface, where vegetative fuels and the built environment meet,” according to the U.S. Forest Service. Over the last decade, more than 35,000 structures were destroyed by wildfires.

Since the early days of the United States, forest service and fire protection agencies have employed fire prevention specialists to detect conditions that can cause fires. The U.S. Forest Service, which was founded in 1905, is a major employer of forest fire prevention specialists. It manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands.