6. Can the effects of landscape fires be influenced by human behavior?

The effects of landscape fires are influenced by a combination of natural factors such as topography, the amount and distribution of fuels, and by weather. Other than reducing human infractions, only fuels may be altered to affect future fire risk and behavior. Landscape fire prevention programs around the world may employ techniques such as prescribed or controlled burns which are set by experts under less dangerous weather conditions in order to obtain desired effects, e.g., the reduction of fuels or favoring biodiversity by creating open spaces.
The effective rehabilitation of burned areas is important to avoid secondary losses or disasters, such as erosion, landslides or mudslides, or floods. This can be achieved by applying emergency treatments on natural lands to minimize threats to life or property resulting from the effects of a fire or to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources. There are a variety of emergency stabilization techniques: Reseeding of ground cover with quick-growing or native species, mulching with straw or chipped wood, construction of straw, rock or log dams in small tributaries and placement of logs to catch sediment on hill slopes are the primary stabilization techniques used.
Landscape fires also affect air quality. Smoke contains a number of pollutants that can cause serious health problems. Exposure and vulnerability of humans to landscape fire emissions can be assessed by air quality monitoring and smoke dispersion models.

Severe erosion after a wildfire in the mountains of Georgia, South Caucasus. Source: GFMC.
Erosion control using burnt trees. Source: GFMC.