Can a forest "receive" a prescribed fire?

Sometimes the person who writes the headline for an article in a newspaper or magazine is not the author. I know this from personal experience after seeing an article I recently wrote for Wildfire magazine appear in the magazine and on their web site with a headline that contradicted the text I wrote in the article.

So I am going to give the author of an article on the Argus Leader’s web site the benefit of the doubt about the headline that says:

“Black Hills National Forest to receive prescribed burn”

I have never heard of a forest “receiving” a prescribed fire. The forest issued a press release, but another news outlets here published a similar story without using the “receive” word.

A fire use manager I used to work for on fire use fires, Wayne Cook, frequently referred to fire “visiting” an area. I thought that was cute, and when he used the phrase in front of land managers who were nervous about allowing a fire to burn on their home unit for weeks at a time, it may have calmed their fears just a bit. Allowing a fire to “visit” sounds less terrifying than saying “we are going to let the fire burn”.

Sometimes we get locked in to our own jargon, and when someone not in our profession uses terms that are different from our in-house language, we tend to snicker. It’s part of the fun of being a firefighter.

And by the way, the official term “Wildland Fire Use for Resource Benefits” is one of the stupidest terms ever invented. I was at the meeting where the term was coined, and argued against it then, but was out-voted.

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