Indian fires in the pre-settlement forests of western Montana
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
Author(s): Stephen W. Barrett
Editor(s): Marvin A. Stokes; John H. Dieterich
Publication Year: 1980

Cataloging Information

  • Douglas-fir
  • fire frequency
  • fire interval
  • Indian fire
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • ponderosa pine
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • western Montana
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: November 16, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 16332


Presents preliminary results of a two-year study examining the pattern of Indian fires in western Montana's lower elevation forests. Interviews and historic journals were used to reconstruct the characteristics of aboriginal burning. Fire scar data from paired stands indicate substantial differences in fire frequency between Indian habitation zones and remote areas before 1860. Fire frequency between the paired stands varied during the settlement period (1861-1910), and fire frequency has been markedly reduced in most stands since the advent of organized fire suppression after 1910.

Barrett, Stephen W. 1980. Indian fires in the pre-settlement forests of western Montana. Pages 35-41 in: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H. (editors), Proceedings of the Fire History Workshop: October 20-24, 1980, Tucson, Arizona. General Technical Report RM-GTR-81. Ft. Collins, CO: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 142 p.