Flames in our forest
Document Type: Book
Author(s): Stephen F. Arno; Steven Allison-Bunnell
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • catastrophic fires
  • combustion
  • coniferous forests
  • erosion
  • fire adaptations
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire scar analysis
  • fire suppression
  • fire use
  • forest management
  • forest regeneration
  • fuel breaks
  • fuel management
  • habitat
  • oxygen
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • plant communities
  • post-fire recovery
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Quercus garryana
  • riparian habitats
  • Sequoia sempervirens
  • soil nutrients
  • soil processes
  • soils
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 28, 2019
FRAMES Record Number: 1319
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20900
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Shaped by fire for thousands of years, the forests of the western United States are as adapted to periodic fires as they are to the region's soils and climate. Our widespread practice of ignoring the vital role of fire is costly in both ecological and economic terms, with consequences including the decline of important fire-dependent tree and undergrowth species, increasing density and stagnation of forests, epidemics of insects and diseases, and the high potential for severe wildfires. [This text] explains those problems and presents viable solutions to them. It explores the underlying historical and ecological reasons for the problems associated with our attempts to exclude fire and examines how some of the benefits of natural fire can be restored. Chapters consider: 1) the history of American perceptions and uses of fire in the forest; 2) how forest fires burn; 3) effects of fire on the soil, water, and air; 4) methods for uncovering the history and effects of past fires; and 5) prescribed fire and fuel treatments for different zones in the landscape. [This text] presents a new picture of the role of fire in maintaining forests, describes the options available for restoring the historical effects of fires, and considers the implications of not doing so. It will help readers appreciate the importance of fire in forests and gives a nontechnical overview of the scientific knowledge and tools available for sustaining western forests by mimicking and restoring the effects of natural fire regimes.

Online Link(s):
Arno, Stephen F.; Allison-Bunnell, Steven. 2002. Flames in our forest. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. 227 p.