How Prescribed Burning Affects Wildfire Occurrence

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In 1959, an attempt was made to evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed fires in reducing the number, size, and intensity of wildfires in north Florida and south Georgia. Data were collected from 380 fires on 954,000 acres for a 4-year period, 1955 to 1958, a span that included two bad fire years and two relatively easy fire years. Although a higher wildfire occurrence rate was indicated for the roughs three years and older, the differences were not very great. On the other hand, the differences in burn acreage, particularly between the youngest and oldest roughs, were extreme. Annual burn percents ranged from 0.03 percent in the 0-year-old roughs to 0.14 percent in the 5-year-old roughs. Hazard reduction fire prescriptions, therefore, are profitable investments for forest landowners in the Southeast if roughs are kept below the 5-year level.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, Southeastern Forest Expt. Sta., Southern Forest Fire Laboratory, Forest Service, U.S. Dept. Agric., Macon, Ga.

Publication date: December 1, 1963

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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