- Pamela J. JakesResearch Social Scientist
Helping communities take charge of their wildland fire safety
Wildland fires burn millions of acres annually, damaging human and animal communities, endangering the lives of firefighters, and costing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages and suppression expenses. However, wildland fires are also important to maintaining and restoring the health of many forested ecosystems.
Fire management approaches have changed considerably since major firefighting efforts began over a hundred years ago. Then, concern about the negative impacts of wildfires on timber and watersheds led to a policy of total fire suppression. Now, land managers have realized that total removal of fire from the landscape has led to a buildup of fuels that can make fires more severe than before. Changes in vegetation to less fire-resistant plants, climate change and drought, and insect outbreaks also contribute to fires that can burn hotter and leap into the tree canopy, thus becoming more difficult to manage.
View the Summer 2012 Research Review (1.1 MB PDF)
For more information contact
Public Affairs Specialist
USDA Forest Service - Northern Research Station
1992 Folwell Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108