Forest Fires May Help Fight Chronic Wasting Disease Among Deer and Elk

Jul 14, 2017

Controlled burns may be the only way to fight the spread of chronic wasting disease among deer and elk.

That’s the belief of a Colorado State University researcher who is planning experimental fires on National Park Service lands in Colorado and Arkansas. The New York Times reports that Mark Zabel and a colleague believe the prions that spread the illness, which is similar to mad-cow disease, may be present not only in sick animals, but in the landscape itself. They believe controlled blazes may be the only way to rid plants and soil of the deformed proteins.