Using fire to manage fire-prone regions around the world

Inaugural online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

 By Nadine Lymn, ESA director of public affairs

Prescribed burn in Klamath National Forest, California. Credit: E. Knapp

Prescribed burn in Klamath National Forest, California. Credit: E. Knapp

The Ecological Society of America’s first online-only Special Issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment showcases prescribed burns around the globe, some of them drawing on historical practices to manage forests and grasslands in fire-prone regions.

Low intensity prescribed burn in open forest in Australia. Credit: N. Burrows

Low intensity prescribed burn in open forest in Australia. Credit: N. Burrows

Prescribed burning in fire-adapted pines in France by A Cotterchio

Prescribed burning in fire-adapted pines in France. Credit: A. Cotterchio

The Online Special Issue looks at fire practices in the United States, Australia, southern Europe, South Africa and South America. One review article focuses on the cooperative efforts of US ranchers in the Great Plains using fire to beat back juniper encroachment on native grasslands.  Another features traditional Aboriginal approaches to minimize greenhouse-gas emissions from savanna fires in northern Australia.  In South America, traditional Mayan practices to produce “forest gardens” are applied to create spaces within the forest for different kinds of crops while contributing to soil fertility and sustaining wildlife.  And in southern Europe, a significant challenge is contending with stringent laws that create obstacles for using managed burns to decrease wildfire risk and manage habitats for grazing and wildlife.

The August online-only issue of Frontiers is open access, as are all Frontiers Special Issues. Access Prescribed burning in fire-prone landscapes here.  Or just peruse by article:

Prescribed burning in southern Europe: developing fire management in a dynamic landscape

Prescribed fire in North American forests and woodlands: history, current practice, and challenges

Prescribed burning in southwestern Australian forests

Fire management in species-rich Cape fynbos shrublands

The Maya milpa: fire and the legacy of living soil

Managing fire regimes in north Australian savannas: applying Aboriginal approaches to contemporary global problems

The rising Great Plains fire campaign: citizens’ response to woody plant encroachment

Author: Nadine Lymn

ESA Director of Public Affairs

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1 Comment

  1. Great Post – I don’t think a lot of the general public realizes that using controlled fires as a technique to prevent fires is something that can be very effective. Fire prevention is just as important as EMS firefighting response time.

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