Ponderosa Pine Tree Forest Fires

Ponderosa Pine trees evolved with fire in the Rocky Mountains.
They take to fire like a hot dog on the Fourth of July.

Ponderosa pine

Smoking trees in the Rocky Mountains

Ponderosa Pine smoke in the Rocky Mountains is as natural as it gets. Rocky Mountains ponderosa pine trees thrive with fire.

ponderosa pine forest fire
Rocky Mountains Ponderosa pines enjoy a good scorching every now and then
They thrive where there are Rocky Mountains forest fires

Putting out all fires actually harms ponderosa pine forests. These trees are part of the forest fire ecosystem of the Rocky Mountains, and they need a good burn every now and then.

Ponderosa Pine forest fire in the Rocky Mountains

The ponderosa pine forests cover the drier portions of the Rocky Mountains. They typically do well on low forests on the edge of the mountains, from 3,000 to 7,000 feet elevation, depending on how far north one is on the continent.

Ponderosa pine trees evolved with fire for eons. A typical cycle involves fire every few years or every few decades. Fire often kills smaller, younger trees. Old ponderosa pine trees have thick bark and generally survive fire. The result of the fire is a thinned forest, with meadows mixed in. No overpopulation of insects. A healthy forest.

Ponderosa pine ecosystem in the Rocky Mountains

White men changed the natural ponderosa pine ecosystem by putting out all forest fires. It's only natural to assume that forest forest are bad. But in a Rocky Mountains ponderosa pine forest fire plays a vital roll as mentioned already.

Now, many people have built homes in or near the forest, and these people expect the public lands to be managed for their house, not for the natural forest. That's bad for the health of the ponderosa pine forest - a forest that requires fire as part of the ecosystem.

That's why perhaps if people don't want their houses to burn down, they shouldn't build them in the middle of a ponderosa pine forest, even if the view is nice. The view changes quite a bit when a forest fire roars over the closest ridge, in any event.

Rocky Mountains Ponderosa Pine Tree photos


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