How Do Forest Fires Affect the Environment?

U.S. Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service photo/Kari Greer/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

According to the U.S. Forest Service, forest fires have a damaging effect on the environment, but they also cause a resurgence of nutrients in the areas they burn. Although fire can tear down acres and acres of trees, it can also enrich the soil to let new vegetation grow.

Fire can be extremely dangerous, causing damage to property and causing humans and wild animals to lose their lives and homes. However, forest fires are a natural part of the life and death cycle of the natural world, and naturally occurring burns are a healthy part of a forest system’s ability to sustain new life. But this doesn’t mean that all forest fires are good; if fires aren’t controlled, they can become extremely dangerous.