Summary of accidents related to prescribed fires in the south 1979-1988; highlights of 26 accidents
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): H. E. Mobley
Publication Year: 1989

Cataloging Information

  • Alabama
  • fire injuries (humans)
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • liability
  • North Carolina
  • plantations
  • smoke management
  • South Carolina
  • US Forest Service
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 39087
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13716
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
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.


From the text: 'The most pressing problem facing prescribed burners today is smoke which reduces visibility on nearby highways. Included is a summary of smoke-related accidente, attributed to prescribed fires, in the South. And...there are undoubtedly more of which I am not aware. At least five occurred in 1988, and they continue to happen. This is larely due to the lack of information and training available to prescribed burners. Yet, this type of incident is the most serious. Deaths and injuries are likely with large lawsuits resulting whereas damage from escaped fires is usually limited to timber and young plantations. The Alabama Forestry Association is in the process of adopting voluntary smoke management guidelines, with which I am happy to have had a part in developing. I have also worked with North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida in developing guidelines. Such systems are much better than statewide regulations: fire behavior and the resulting smoke is different for each prescribed burn, and atmospheric conditions change continuously. Smoke-sensitive areas will also vary. Consequently, any state regulations will unnecessarily resrict the use of prescribed fire, yet not eliminate the smoke problem. The person 'on the ground' can make the best decision, if he is properly trained and has the necessary information.'

Mobley, H. E. 1989. Summary of accidents related to prescribed fires in the south 1979-1988; highlights of 26 accidents. Smoke Columns [newsletter], p. 1-3.