Fire as the first great force employed by man
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): O. C. Stewart
Editor(s): W. L. Thomas
Publication Year: 1956

Cataloging Information

  • aborigines
  • archaeological sites
  • coniferous forests
  • deciduous forests
  • distribution
  • Europe
  • fire management
  • forest management
  • fuel appraisal
  • geography
  • grasslands
  • hardwood forests
  • histories
  • human caused fires
  • lightning caused fires
  • Native Americans
  • old growth forests
  • pine forests
  • pine hardwood forests
  • post fire recovery
  • prehistoric fires
  • spontaneous combustion
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 27, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 37416
Tall Timbers Record Number: 11882
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: G56.I63 1995; another copy in Fire File
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.


From the text...'The unrestricted burning of vegetation appears to be a universal culture trait among historic primitive peoples and therefore was probably employed by our remote ancestors. Archeology indicates that extensive areas of the Old and New Worlds were being burned over ten thousand years ago. It is logical to assume that some of the reasons which motivated historic and Neolithic men would also have motivated our remote ancestors to set vegetation on fire. One may conclude that fire has been used by man to influence his geographic environment during his entire career as a human. Furthermore, it is impossible to understand clearly the distribution and history of vegetation of the earth's land surfaces without careful consideration of fire as a universal factor influencing the plant geography of the world.'

Stewart, O. C. 1956. Fire as the first great force employed by man, in WL Thomas ed., Man's role in changing the face of the earth. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, p. 115-133.