One of the many things that European colonists brought to North America was a desire to suppress fire in all forms. They were struck by the rich biodiversity of California’s forests, woodlands and prairies, but they didn’t understand that Indigenous peoples’ use of fire was responsible for their flourishing.
Native Americans have used burning practices to manage, protect, and relate to their surroundings for millennia. They have long set low-intensity fires to manage eco-cultural resources and reduce the buildup of fuels — flammable trees, grasses and bush — that cause larger, hotter and more dangerous fires, like the ones that have burned across the West in recent years. Before fire suppression, forests in the West experienced a mix of low- to high-severity fires. Large high-severity fires played an important ecological role, yet their spread was contained by low-severity fires set by Indigenous peoples.
Ali is a graphic designer from Alaska who is primarily inspired by nature and animated storytelling. They are passionate about making inclusive designs with an emphasis on sustainable solutions, accessibility, play, and craft. When not designing, they can be found crocheting gifts for loved ones or trying new things with ceramics.