Wildfires are destructive forces, but they can occur naturally. Because of this, certain plants and animals have evolved to depend on periodic wildfires for ecological balance. Prescribed burns can mimic the benefits of wildfires while also lowering the risks associated with larger, uncontrolled fires.
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The food source for the Karner blue butterfly caterpillar (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is a plant called wild lupine (Lupine perennis). The wild lupine requires fire to reduce overhanging plants that otherwise would outcompete it for needed sunlight.
Photograph by Science Stock
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July 15, 2022
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