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Effectiveness of Prescribed Burning in Reducing Wildfire Damage During Periods of Abnormally High Fire Danger

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Six months after the highly destructive fires of April 20-21, 1963, a survey was made of previously prescribed burned areas in one New Jersey state forest and of untreated, adjoining, private forest land. Because of prior fuel reductions, areas prescribe-burned within the last 10 years supported 28 percent less fire of head intensity than the untreated areas. Damage in the untreated areas was markedly more--97 percent of the oaks and 79 percent of the pines killed or severely damaged, compared to 46 and 17 percent respectively in previously prescribe-burned areas. Even though prior fuel reductions, unless nearly complete, were not so effective as they would have been on more normal spring fire days, they did so reduce damage and intensity that expanded prescribed burning program recommendations have been substantiated.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Forester, New Jersey Bureau of Forestry, Trenton

Publication date: 1964-08-01

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  • 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.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
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    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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