The element that isn't
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): S. J. Pyne
Publication Year: 2006

Cataloging Information

  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire regimes
  • fire suppression
  • forest management
  • ignition
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 46437
Tall Timbers Record Number: 22173
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
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 (p.6) ... 'Fire-as-tool suggests that the problem is to put fire in or take it out. The solution to unwanted fire is to shut off its air supply, remove its fuel, interrupt its chain of ignition. Fire-as-natural urges, if obliquely, that people erase themselves from their heritage as fire agents. By contrast, fire-as-biology suggests that the problem is to decide what fire's context should be, and then determine what kind of catalytic fire-induced jolt might best serve that setting. That fire is not merely a device to reduce fuel so much as combustibles are a means to get the kind of fire a biota requires. That our role as fire-keeper is more complex than that of tool-maker because it involves ecological connections as well as tasks. That fire, for humanity, is more than a problem or a process: it is a relationship. That fire, although no longer considered an element, remains elemental.'

Online Link(s):
Pyne, S. J. 2006. The element that isn't. Fire Ecology, v. 2, no. 1, p. 1-6.