A synopsis of large or disastrous wildland fires
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): Robert E. Martin; David B. Sapsis
Editor(s): David R. Weise; Robert E. Martin
Publication Year: 1995

Cataloging Information

  • disastrous wildland fires
  • fire management period
  • prehistoric fires
  • suppression period fires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: December 13, 2016
FRAMES Record Number: 10887


Wildland fires have occurred for centuries in North America and other selected countries and can be segregated into three periods: prehistoric (presuppression) fires, suppression period fires, and fire management period fires. Prehistoric fires varied in size and damage but were probably viewed fatalistically. Suppression period fires were based on policy that excluded fire from many ecosystems where it played an important role; the view of fire as an undesirable wildland disturbance was fostered during this period. Recognition of fire's roles led to a managed use of fire; however, large and disastrous fires still occur because of large fuel accumulations during the fire suppression period.

Online Link(s):
Martin, Robert E.; Sapsis, David B. 1995. A synopsis of large or disastrous wildland fires. Pages 35-38 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.