Wildfires scorch and blacken the Earth but turns out they’re actually essential for the environment and even good for the trees themselves. That’s right, this animation explainer from Ted-Ed explains how burning trees can actually help trees grow in the future. It’s because when trees overgrow they’ll have too thick of a canopy that’ll block the sunlight that stops new trees from growing. Fires are like a checks and balance system on all that.
Our early ancestors relied on lightning to cause forest fires, from which they could collect coals and burning sticks to help them cook food and clear land. Yet, it wasn’t just humans who benefited from these natural phenomena. Even as they destroyed trees, fires also helped the forests themselves. Jim Schulz outlines the benefits of wildfire.