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Title: Re-introducing fire at the urban/wild-land interface: planning for success

Author: Miller, Steven R.; Wade, Dale;

Date: 2003

Source: Forestry, Vol. 76, No.2, 2OO3

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: The application of fire in the southern United States continues to increase in complexity due to urban sprawl, air quality issues and regulatory constraints. Many sites suffer from unnaturally high fuel accumulations due to decades of fire exclusion. The loss of habitat to urbanization and successional changes resulting from the absence of fire increases the importance of restoring and maintaining those remaining acres. The wild-land/urban interface case study we discuss herein includes several fire-adapted plant communities ranging in required fire regime from frequent low-intensity fires to infrequent high-intensity stand replacement fires. This area has experienced extended fire-free periods and includes tightly packed homes in subdivisions developed with no consideration of the potential for wild-land fire. Additional smoke-sensitive areas include schools and heavily travelled highways. Such worst-case scenarios exponentially increase the challenges/risks facing fire managers. This case study thus illustrates many of the complex societal issues and technical challenges facing fire managers when planning and conducting restoration burns in the wild-land/urban interface. In fact, it reinforces the notion that, when burning in the wild-land/urban interface, executing the burn often requires less effort than the planning, co-operation and co-ordination necessary prior to ignition.

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Miller, Steven R.; Wade, Dale 2003. Re-introducing fire at the urban/wild-land interface: planning for success. Forestry, Vol. 76, No.2, 2OO3


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