Reframing “Fighting” Wildland Fire

Fighting fire. I’ve said this phrase countless times. I worked as a wildland firefighter but never stopped to consider the phrase fighting fire.

Since the late 1800’s wildfires, or any agricultural fires in the United States, have been perceived as destructive. Few explorers who came west were able to see fires for what they were- part of the natural environment, and integral to ecological health. When the Forest Service was established it was done so in a climate of “timber famine.”