The fundamental effects of fire influence the community, structure and composition of plants and animals in the environment. Many species of plants have adapted to periodic occurrences fire, and many depend on fire for their continued existence. The suppression of naturally occurring fire has changed fire-adapted ecosystems often leads to a large buildup of fuels, which results in an increased risk of catastrophic fires.
OSU fire ecology scientists study the ecological and historical role of fire and the fire effects on plants and animals in the environment. Scientists and educators involved in OSU's fire ecology program work to help landowners make better management decisions in order to help restore and conserve ecosystems through the use of controlled burns.
Interested in learning more about how to conduct a safe and effective prescribed burn? OSU Extension offers a low cost Introduction to Prescribed Fire online class.