Rx fire laws: tools to protect fire: the 'ecological imperative'
Document Type: Conference Paper
Author(s): D. D. Wade; S. Miller; J. Stowe; J. Brenner
Editor(s): M. B. Dickinson
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • community ecology
  • coniferous forests
  • conservation
  • ecosystem dynamics
  • education
  • fire adaptations (plants)
  • fire damage (property)
  • fire dependent species
  • fire exclusion
  • fire frequency
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • Florida
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel management
  • Georgia
  • hardwood forests
  • land management
  • liability
  • natural resource legislation
  • prescribed fires (escaped)
  • public information
  • smoke management
  • Smokey Bear program
  • Tall Timbers Research Station
  • wildfires
  • wood
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 5, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45372
Tall Timbers Record Number: 20869
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.88:GTR-NRS-P-1
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.


The South is the birthplace of statutes and ordinances that both advocate and protect the cultural heritage of woods burning, which has been practiced in this region uninterrupted for more than 10,000 years. We present a brief overview of fire use in the South and discuss why most southern states recognized early on that periodic fire was necessary to sustain fire adapted ecosystems and passed laws to protect and facilitate the practice of controlled burning. We also provide examples of legislation promoting this ecological imperative and share ideas we have found helpful in getting the 'right' people involved to assure passage of such legislation. Finally, we discuss constraints to prescription fire that need to be mitigated, as well as items to consider including in pro-fire legislation.

Online Link(s):
Wade, D. D., S. Miller, J. Stowe, and J. Brenner. 2006. Rx fire laws: tools to protect fire: the 'ecological imperative', in Dickinson, M. B., Fire in eastern oak forests: delivering science to land managers; Proceedings of a Conference. Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station,Newton Square, PA. p. 233-262,General Technical Report NRS-P-1.