Fire on the island
After decades of fire suppression, the National Park Service may be lifting its ban on fire. They have released a draft Fire Management Plan which proposes prescribed burns to reduce fuel loads on the island.
Fire is essential to the health of the island. While prescribed burns are a step in the right direction, we encourage the park to adopt a let-burn policy for the wilderness area and minimize prescribed burns in the wilderness. Naturally ignited fires burn much differently than prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are another form of human manipulation in the wilderness.
It’s also essential that the Fire Management Plan ban the dumping of saltwater on island fires. Ocean water is routinely used by fire crews and helicopters in fighting island fires. Dumping saltwater on freshwater ecosystems is toxic to many plants and animals, especially amphibians.
Public comments on the fire management plan will be accepted until November 30.