The myth of 'catastrophic' wildfire: a new ecological paradigm of forest health
Document Type: Report
Author(s): C. Hanson
Publication Year: 2010

Cataloging Information

  • air quality
  • biomass
  • carbon
  • catastrophic fires
  • coniferous forests
  • FIA
  • fire damage (property)
  • fire frequency
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire size
  • fire suppression
  • flame length
  • forest management
  • Healthy Forests Initiative
  • land management
  • logging
  • nongame birds
  • nutrient cycling
  • particulates
  • plant growth
  • post fire recovery
  • regeneration
  • season of fire
  • Sierra Nevada
  • snags
  • thinning
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 48974
Tall Timbers Record Number: 25237
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.24) ... '..., the term 'catastrophic wildfire' is not scientifically credible; rather, it is a term based upon misinformation, as well as cultural fears and misconceptions about fire. There is a major deficiency of wildland fire -- including high-intensity fire -- and large snags in conifer forests. Yet forest management is still bent upon suppressing fire, reducing snag densities, and eliminating post-fire habitat, which is greatly worsening the current deficits. If this management pattern continues, it could threaten populations of numerous native wildlife species, many of which are already rare and/or declining.... (p.25) The emerging forest ecology paradigm, in contrast, does not require these costly and destructive programs. It recognizes that wildland fire is doing important and beneficial ecological work in our forests. Moreover, within the forest ecology paradign, policies are focused on ensuring that rural human communities adapt to wildland fire so that homes are protected. Both our forests and our communities will be healthier for the change.'

Online Link(s):
Hanson, C. 2010. The myth of 'catastrophic' wildfire: a new ecological paradigm of forest health. v. John Muir Technical Report 1,