Over the course of human history our civilization has developed an important relationship with fire. From its beneficial use in cooking, warming our homes, and managing our land to its destructive capabilities; fire connects us to the natural world. On this episode we’ll look at the 2007 wildfire that consumed over 400,000 acres of forest, burned 22 homes and forced the evacuation of over 1000 people in and around the Okefenokee Swamp.
But fire isn't all bad, in fact, it's a necessary part of a healthy forest ecosystem. We'll also join forest managers as they employ a technique called prescribed burning at the Jones Ecological Research Center just south of Albany. The landowners here regularly perform prescribed burning for it's large amount of longleaf pine, a species of pine dependent on fire for it's survival. Other species have also adapted to this fire-dependent ecosystem including the red cockaded woodpecker and the gopher tortoise.