Saturday, April 16, 2011

Controlled Burns and Wildfires

 Author's Note: Recently we had a seminar on controlled burns.  Some of the Academy 21 students went out to the prairie to see what the prairie looks like after a control burn that was a few days earlier.  Our task was to research controlled burns and state our opinion on whether or not we should do controlled burns, and whether or not we should stop wildfires.  I felt like including examples of controlled burns and wildfires from recent events.  As for many of my responses, I am working on reducing be-verbs by 30%.  Please give me feedback!

Controlled burns and wildfires happen all of the time.  Since controlled burns can help the land then why do firemen immediately take action when there is a wildfire?  On the other hand, some negatives can come up when doing a controlled burns and having untreated wildfires.  Should people create controlled burns and keep wildfires or stop them altogether?

Controlled Burn
Not long ago, in the prairie behind our school, there was a fire.  Did you get to see the fire or what the prairie looked like afterward?  No worries, that fire wasn't to harm anything, it was one step that we annually do to restore our prairie.  Those kinds of fires are called controlled burns.  Controlled burns are fires professionally set during cooler months as a technique to manage forests, farm, or restore prairies.  Many use controlled burning as a helpful tool to disperse seeds, begin plant growth, and abolish unwanted species. 

On the other hand, controlled burns can be quite harmful.  All the smoke and ashes will definitely pollute the atmosphere.  When inhaling the smoke from a controlled burn or any fire it can be dangerous to people's health.  Sadly, in Oregon during the year 1988, a 23-car crash that took five lives and injured over 35 people due to a vast amount of smoke from a controlled burn.

Texas Wildfire
As for wildfires, nature makes them on their own.  Right now in Texas blazing wildfires take over hundreds of miles due to a drought and gusty winds.  Hundreds of firemen from all over the United States try to put out the destructive fire before it could damage more.  Should firemen put out wildfires?  They are nature's way of a controlled burn.  Those fires could start renewing all of this land, but then firemen will extinguish them before restoration could be done. 

Fires happen for a reason and sometimes I think firemen should let them be.  Though controlled burns can  harm people and the air, they are also great for plant life which people and animals need to live.  In addition, I think that extinguishing wildfires right away isn't the best idea until they get out of hand.  What do you think?  Should we set controlled burns or not?  Do you think we should extinguish wildfires right away?


"Controlled Burn On UCSB’s Lagoon Island Fuels Effort to Smoke Out Invasive Plant -" Santa Barbara News and Information - N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <

"Controlled Burn- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ." Wikipedia the free encyclopedia . N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2011. <>.

"Controlled burn." Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <>.

"Texas Wildfire Condition Ease; Weather a Concern." Fox News. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2011. <,2933,514707,00.html>.


  1. Great job on reducing the be-verbs. I couldn't really pull out a strong thesis statement however. You had a great voice, and expressed great opinion. I like how at the end of pieces like this, you ask the reader what they think. Because when reading it, they normally just follow along, but when asked it helps to pull that out of the reader. Great Job!

  2. Abbie,

    After reading over it, your right about not really having a thesis. I am going to do some editing to it. Anyway, thanks for the comment!

  3. Your organization and voice was very good. Having 1 body paragraph about how they were good and 1 about how they were bad was very easy to follow. You used the question technique very frequently throughout your piece. Not that the question technique is bad but it is not the most advanced technique. Your opinion was strongly stated. Well Done!

  4. I think that you made some really good points in this response. I enjoyed how you talked about specific wildfires and specific controlled burns. The only thing I would watch out for would be make sure that you put in periods, because most of your sentences don't have them. Though overall it was really good!