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Modes of Wildland Firefighting through Educational Campaign in Transition Countries in Europe: Case Study of Poland

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For generations, Polish farmers have believed that setting grasslands ablaze has a positive effect on soil fertility. In the past 25 years, fire spreading from nonforest areas and arson were among the chief causes of forest fires in Poland. In the last years of the socialist system in Poland (1981‐1989) wildfire caused by fire spreading from nonforest areas was of marginal importance, representing barely 0.79% of all fires. In the first decade of the system transformation (1990‐1999) the percentage of spreads from nonforest areas grew to 9.06% of all forest fires. The year of 1996 proved critical to Polish wildland when spreads from nonforest areas reached 28%. The growing problem forced the State Forests to undertake an outreach and educational activities projects aimed at reducing the number of fires. At the time of system transformation, simple education projects did not always bring about the expected results. When conducting information and education campaigns, one should bear in mind the local social relations, the target groups' perception levels, and the local authorities' involvement. The efforts may result in a tangible drop in the number of fires caused by setting grasslands ablaze. In 2000‐2005 spreads from nonforest areas decreased to 7.88%.
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Keywords: communication; education; fire; forest; forest management; international forestry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-12-01

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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.

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