Forests and Fire
Fire plays a critical role in the natural processes that form our beautiful forests.
For as long as there have been trees in Oregon, fire has been a part of our forests. We tend to see forest fires as a destructive force, but fire represents another way that nature shapes our landscape.
Some Oregon tree species, such as ponderosa pine, evolved to take advantage of fire. Indeed, some forest species require fire to "unlock" their cones and begin the process of regrowth. In other areas, such as the wet spruce forests of the Oregon Coast Range, fire is rare. Unfortunately, a century of logging and misguided efforts to prevent all fire everywhere have led to a serious buildup of fuels and dense undergrowth in our forests--which can lead to unnaturally hot and destructive fires, putting our forests at risk.
Read more about how to protect our communities from the threat of forest fires and to make fire once again an essential, healthy part of the forest life cycle in these reports and backgrounders on forests and fire.