Fire in the prairie can either be a wildfire or a prescribed fire. Both wildfire and prescribed fire can be beneficial to all aspects of the prairie ecosystem.
Wildfire is caused by lightning, arson or can be a prescribed fire that gets out of control.
Prescribed fire is when someone writes a prescription to conduct fire on a piece of land.
Fire is beneficial for the plants in the prairie, burning old plant growth and allowing new seeds to germinate and new plants to get plenty of sunlight and water. Some plant seeds require heat from fire to germinate.
Fire can be used to manage habitat for wildlife species with some species of wildlife benefiting from periodic fire to maintain the habitat they require.
Fire provides fresh new and nutritious plant growth for bison and cattle. The new plant growth that re-sprouts following fire almost always has a higher crude protein level than dead plant material. This provides higher nutrition levels for grazing animals.