Wildland fires and the environment: a global synthesis
Fire has been an agent of disturbance for thousands of years. Forest and wildland fires have occurred long before the advent of humans, shaping landscape structure, pattern and ultimately the species composition of ecosystems. The ecological role of fire is to influence several factors such as plant community development, soil nutrient availability and biological diversity. Forest and wildland fire is a vital and natural process that initiates natural cycles of vegetation succession and maintains ecosystem viability.