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Firelighter Lighting a Fire, Fall 2023, Yurok Tribal Land

November 2023 (approx.)

Detailed Description

This photo shows a Firelighter, lighting a culturally prescribed fire on Yurok Land. The Yurok Tribe, native to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, employs a unique and culturally significant method of fire management through the use of culturally prescribed burns. These burns are intentionally set to manage the forest ecosystem, promote the growth of traditional medicinal plants, and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. The individuals who carry out this crucial task are known as Firelighters. They are responsible not only for igniting these controlled fires but also for carefully managing and eventually extinguishing them, ensuring that the fires fulfill their ecological and cultural purposes without threatening the surrounding areas. This practice reflects a deep understanding of and respect for the natural environment, embodying centuries of indigenous knowledge and stewardship.


Public Domain.

This photo was taken by Matt Mais, public relations director, Yurok Tribe. Permission granted to USGS for usage.