Only when I began to travel did I learn the real meaning of the phrase, 'fight fire with fire.' 
Earlier I noted that my trip to Glacier National Park was a while ago and the Trapper Creek Fire of 2003 had since destroyed about 20,000 acres of the park.  In my last post,  the Chalet is surrounded by trees.  I looked at some more recent photos online-- it doesn't look the same.  The chalet remains, but there are fewer trees.
People are a primary cause of fires, but fires started by lightning strikes cause more destruction than human error.  That doesn't make the lightning strike fires better.  But fire is a part of a natural cycle.  
Before humans moved into areas previously populated by only animals and plants, that natural cycle worked fairly well (usually).  Fires can open up a forest canopy, enabling sun to promote new growth, or burn scrub in the grasslands with the same affect. Some seeds--certain pine cones, for example-- need the fire's heat to open and take root.  Ashes  nourish  new plants.   Insects make new homes in the burned trees and attract birds. Some trees--certain oaks, for example--withstand fire better than others, so the loss of competing vegetation helps them survive.   And so the chain renews, life persists. 
When humans stepped in, those who depended on hunting for food  found forests could be a hindrance.  Then they discovered (probably learning from nature) that a little fire could reduce the underbrush and create a path leading game closer to hunters.  
We don't depend on hunting anymore, and all over the world we've populated areas that once were wild. So now a fire that lets the sun shine or clears the scrub also threatens homes and lives.  Over time, we've also learned that we can manage fire.  
A controlled or prescribed burn fights fire with fire.  It reduces  the  naturally occurring accumulation of dead matter on the ground that could otherwise fuel wild fires.  Like those ancient hunters, we've learned to use fire to our benefit.
An example:  in May, 2016 WNEP channel 16 in Pennsylvania  reported that a brush fire was a 'controlled burn' to reduce the wildfire risk and improve the native animals' natural habitat.

http://wnep.com/2016/05/10/brush-fire-along-casey-highway-is-controlled-burn/
Naturally occurring fires seem to have a four to twenty year cycle, depending on the normal accumulation of waste in the ecosystem.  Now that we've populated so many areas that once might have burned every four to twenty years,  we can't just let nature run it's course.  We have learned that we need to manage the ground waste with controlled burns in order to protect ourselves, at least to some extent, from massive destructive fires.
Is climate change affecting the severity of fires?   I leave that for the experts.  For me, though, the natural cycle is a reminder of the order of things, the immensity of the planet, the systems that compose it, and our teeny little place in the system...even if we do think we know better.
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