North American jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stands are generally characterized by an even-aged structure resulting from high intensity fires (HIF). However, non-lethal fires of moderate intensity (MIF), which leave behind surviving trees, have also been reported. The objectives of this study were two-fold: (1) assess the concurrent dynamics of live trees, understory vegetation and different types of coarse woody debris (CWD) during succession after HIF; and (2) document how MIF affects stand structure component dynamics compared to HIF. Stands affected by both HIF and MIF were selected. Tree characteristics and age structure, understory biomass, and CWD volume were assessed. Our results suggest that the structural succession of jack pine stands following HIF comprises three stages: young stands (<48 years), premature and mature stands (58-100 years) and old stands (>118 years). Canopy openness and jack pine density significantly decreased with time since HIF, while black spruce density and CWD volume significantly increased. The highest structural diversity was measured in the premature and mature stands. Compared to HIF, MIF increased mean jack pine basal area, decreased average stand density, delayed the replacement of jack pine by black spruce replacement in the canopy, decreased CWD volume, and significantly increased bryophytes mass. MIF increased the diversity of live trees and generally decreased CWD structural diversity. The study confirms the diversity of natural disturbance magnitude and successional processes thereby initiated. Thereafter, it appeared to be relevant for adjustment of disturbance emulating forest-management systems. Crown Copyright © 2008 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.