Generally not for native grasses. Native grass species evolved with fire and in many areas this included growing season fire. Fire does temporarily change the plant composition and structure.
Yes, grazing animals preferentially forage on recently burned areas due to the increased palatability of new and re-sprouting vegetation. As a result, fine fuel loads at these sites are reduced, subsequently lowering their near-term burn potential. Conversely and simultaneously, fine fuels on adjacent unburned areas buildup in the absence of concentrated grazing resulting in an increased burn potential over time. The result is an ever-changing mosaic of burned and unburned patches across the landscape driven by the interaction between fire and grazing.
Fire can be both positive and negative for wildlife. Wildlife evolved in plant communities that had fire. Man has changed the fire regime which has had negative impacts on many species. Some species require frequent fires while others require less frequent fires. Thus, the impacts on species of plants and animals are highly variable and to determine the impacts on a particular place you need a good understanding of individual species responses.
There are some general notes to consider regarding wildlife: 1) Fire temporarily increases the palatability of many plants which increases forage for herbivores. 2) Fire temporarily increases the amount of annual forbs which many birds require. 3) Fire temporarily reduces the amount of cover for nesting and escape.
How long these conditions last depends on the productivity of the site. It could be as little as 3 years or as many as 200 years. Fire is critical for wildlife biodiversity. The key is selecting the appropriate scale (time interval between fires and size of fire) to match the wildlife species of interest.
A set of environmental conditions and fuel loads that will meet habitat management objectives. Variables of interest include: relative humidity, wind speed, wind direction, season of year, and temperature.
This is some type of break or barrier on the boundary of the burn unit that aids in containing the fire. Firebreaks delineate the boundary of the burn unit, allow for vehicle access around the unit and reduce the intensity of the fire along the edge. Firebreaks can be mowed lines, bareground lines made by dozing, grading or discing, or natural barriers such as creeks, cultivated fields, vegetation changes or roads.
A backfire is a fire that burns into the prevailing wind, it is typically slow moving with shorter flame heights and lower fire intensity. Headfires are fires that burn with the prevailing wind; they are the fastest moving fire type, with the longest flames and greatest intensity. Flank fires are fires that burn or spread parallel to the prevailing wind direction; their behavior is between that of a backfire and headfire.