Good Fire | How Fires Have Nurtured Forests for a Millennial

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Fire has long been a part of mankind’s ability to thrive. Beyond providing warmth and a means to prepare food, fire has the ability to create new life. This is not news to our ancestors and indigenous communities worldwide, however like so many concepts... “What is old, is now new”

Diana Almendariz of the Maidu/Patwin tribes sets fire to a redbud pile, a plant used in Native American basketry, during the Tending and Gathering Garden Indigenous Fire Workshop in Woodland. (Alysha Beck/UC Davis)


Indigenous people have been practicing prescribed burns in North America, and around the world for centuries. These burns have many benefits; serving the purpose of clearing underbrush, opening pasture lands, providing nutrient-dense forage for wildlife to graze, and regeneration.


Prescribed burns are now widely recognized as the most effective technique in reducing wildfires by ridding a forest of dead leaves, tree limbs, and other debris. They can also reduce insect populations and destroy invasive plants.


Photo by: Forest Stewards Guild


It is said that cultural burning links back to the tribal philosophy of fire as medicine. When prescribed, you’re getting the right dose to maintain the abundance of productivity of all ecosystem services. Now that’s certainly a dose of good fire!


Sitting Fireside this Summer? Try these easy Roasted Peaches...


  1. Butter a large square of foil and drizzle with brown sugar

  2. Wash peaches and slice in half, removing the pit. Arrange peach halves, cut side down

  3. Wrap peaches up tightly and place in hot campfire ashes. Cook slowly for about 20-25 minutes.

  4. Remove from heat and open, allowing steam to escape. Serve warm & enjoy the yummiest parts of nature!



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