Forest fires in northern Canada (with an introduction by Martin E. Alexander)
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): Robert Bell
Publication Year: 1889
Reprinted 2012

Cataloging Information

  • black spruce
  • boreal forests
  • Canada
  • coniferous forests
  • European settlement
  • fire frequency
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire rotation
  • First Nations
  • forest management
  • historic management
  • human caused fires
  • Indigenous burning
  • jack pine
  • Larix laricina
  • lightning caused fires
  • logging
  • mosaic
  • mosses
  • Native Americans
  • old-growth forests
  • Ontario
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • Pinus banksiana
  • second growth forests
  • seed dispersal
  • serotiny
  • spontaneous combustion
  • succession
  • tamarack
  • white spruce
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • International
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Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 29, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 13428
Tall Timbers Record Number: 233, 28341
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, 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.


A paper read before the American Forestry Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, on 1 December 1888. Reprinted from the Proceedings of the American Forestry Congress, December 1888, Gibson Brothers Printers and Bookbinders, Washington, D.C., with an introduction by Martin E. Alexander. From the introduction: "While Bell held many of the very same biases as the foresters of his generation regarding the 'mindless vandalism' caused by forest fires, he also recognized that fire played a natural role in the ecology of the boreal forest as evident, for example, by his description of the connections between fire, cone serotiny, and stand renewal in jack pine ... One hundred twenty-five years after Dr. Bell’s perceptive words were written, large-scale crown fires continue to significantly influence boreal forest ecosystem dynamics. Slowly but surely, we have come to recognize and appreciate that the attempted exclusion of fire from the boreal forest is in fact neither ecologically desirable nor economically feasible."

Bell, Robert. 1889 (Reprinted 2012). Forest fires in northern Canada (with an introduction by Martin E. Alexander). Reprinted from Report of the American Forestry Congress, Atlanta Meeting, 1888. Fire Ecology 8(1):1-10.