5. Why not use mechanical thinning instead of burning?
The forest mechanically treats thousands of acres every year but it is much more expensive. It would take decades to chip or remove the large amounts of beetle killed trees, down logs, and dead materials on the forest floor.
Mechanized equipment treatment is limited to relatively level ground and is hampered by steep terrain and access issues. It also causes ground disturbance creating watershed and soils damage.
Mechanical treatments have a time and place but they are not natural.
Fire dependant plant species do not benefit from this treatment.