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The Fire Suppression Policy of the U. S. Forest Service

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The direct cost of forest fire control in 1943 averaged, for all lands inside the national forest boundaries, 3 1/4 cents per acre--a total of $7,350,000 from the public treasury. Fire suppression constituted 20 percent of the total cost as compared with more than 50 percent in some years. For this reason and others mentioned in the author's introductory paragraphs we are glad to have here a close-up view of the policy, commonly known as "the first burning period policy," or as "the 10:00 a.m. policy," under which the Forest Service handles its fire suppression task. Apparently it is based on much the same viewpoint as Stewart Holbrook expresses in his recent book Burning An Empire wherein he quotes Ernest Swift, acting conservation director for Wisconsin: "The philosophy of the average American toward land must be changed. We talk of useless and waste land. By and large it was so made by man. I firmly believe that Americans should feel that every foot of land we possess as a nation has value, that there is a possible utilization for all of it."

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant chief, U. S. Forest Service, Washington, D. C.

Publication date: August 1, 1944

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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