Rethinking Wildfire: Cultural Burning and the Art of Not Fighting Fire

Photo of Native American studies professor Beth Rose Middleton taking part in  cultural burning.
Native American studies professor Beth Rose Middleton Manning throws deergrass onto a burning pile as she and students in the “Keepers of the Flame” class take part in a cultural burn.

Devastating wildfires raging across California this year have been perceived mostly as a destructive force. But prior to European arrival in California, Native Americans used fire as a restorative land management technique that cleared underbrush and encouraged new plant growth.

The practice of “cultural burning” is being explored at UC Davis by students and faculty in collaboration with tribes through the Native American studies course “Keepers of the Flame.” 

See the full story about rethinking wildfire by Kat Kerlin for UC Davis News and Media Relations.

 

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