Prescribed fire: why aren't we doing more? Local, state, and national perspectives
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): Donald A. Pierpont; Ken Nehoda; Jerry Williams
Editor(s): David R. Weise; Robert E. Martin
Publication Year: 1995

Cataloging Information

  • fire management programs
  • prescribed fire planning
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 10872


Prescribed fire has been recognized as a potential tool for land managers for many years. The gradual recognition of the important role of fire in wildlands has been documented many times. In the United States, this recognition probably first occurred in the longleaf pine region of the southern United States. Various agencies that once focused on fire exclusion gradually adopted the use of prescribed fire as a land management tool. By the late 1970's, many Federal, State, and local wildland agencies were actively implementing prescribed burning programs for purposes such as fuel hazard reduction and wildlife habitat management. Even though the use of prescribed burning has increased during the past 60 years, present use of this tool falls far short of its potential use given the millions of acres of land in fire-adapted or fire-dependent ecosystems in the United States. This observation begs the question 'Why aren't we doing more prescribed burning?' In order to provide several different perspectives on this question, a panel of experts was convened to discuss the issue from the perspectives of local, State, and Federal wildland agencies. Battalion Chief Donald Pierpont of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, Mr. Ken Nehoda of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, and Mr. Jerry Williams of the USDA Forest Service each provided their views on the topic. Many common factors affect the prescribed burning programs of each of these agencies. The following three papers present a summary of this panel discussion.

Online Link(s):
Pierpont, Donald A.; Nehoda, Ken; Williams, Jerry T. 1995. Prescribed fire: why aren't we doing more? Local, state, and national perspectives. In: Weise, David R.; Martin, Robert E., technical coordinators. The Biswell symposium: fire issues and solutions in urban interface and wildland ecosystems; February 15-17, 1994; Walnut Creek, California. General Technical Report PSW-GTR-158. Albany, CA: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. p. 27-32.