Fire is as natural a force as wind, water, drought, floods, blizzards, and insect infestations. Before Europeans settled in North America, fires regularly occurred naturally due to lightning strikes, but were also started accidentally and intentionally by man.
Deliberately set fires were an important tool of Native Americans who used fires to hunt, improve visibility, protect themselves and their villages from wildfires, make traveling through the tallgrass prairie easier, and for many other reasons.
As the continent was populated and developed, fire was widely suppressed because of its inherently destructive impact to many human interests and its potentially deadly affect on human life. The "Smokey the Bear" campaign reflects this perspective.
However, there are many benefits to burns when done for specific purposes.
Here's what you need to know about the Forest Preserve District of Will County's prescribed burns: