Logging may increase fire risk

Jan 06, 2006

Researchers say logging after forest fires may hinder forest regeneration and increase fire risk.

A new study done in the area burned in the catastrophic Biscuit Fire in southwestern Oregon in 2002 found that allowing trees to regenerate naturally works about as well as -- or better than -- logging and replanting, and that undisturbed areas may be at lower fire risk in the future.

The research, which will be published Friday in Sciencexpress and later presented in the journal Science, was conducted by Oregon State University and the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry in Hawaii.

The study suggested that logging, by itself, would actually increase the levels of material that could fuel another fire in the near future, because of the easily-burned materials left behind on the forest floor after trees are felled and processed.

"Surprisingly, it appears that after even the most severe fires, the forest is naturally very resilient, more than it's often given credit for," said lead author Dan Donato, a graduate student in the Department of Forest Science.

When left to natural regeneration, the trees that did not die acted as a seed source for fairly wide areas around them, researchers said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA's Curiosity Mars rover studies rock-layer contact zone

Related Stories

Yosemite forest fire example of possible things to come

Jun 30, 2015

Forest composition, ground cover and topography are the best predictors of forest fire severity in the Western U.S., according to Penn State physical geographers who also see that the long history of fire ...

Republicans shift strategy in effort to increase logging

Jun 08, 2015

Drought has killed about 12 million trees in California's national forests. In the Rocky Mountain region, an epidemic of pine beetles has damaged trees over a stretch of 32 million acres. Altogether, up to ...

Marsupial mating habits to die for

Jun 01, 2015

Queensland scientists have discovered two more species of suicidally-sexed carnivorous marsupials and one is already destined for the threatened list.

Recommended for you

What is a terrestrial planet?

14 hours ago

In studying our solar system over the course of many centuries, astronomers learned a great deal about the types of planets that exist in our universe. This knowledge has since expanded thanks to the discovery ...

Working out in artificial gravity

15 hours ago

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have a number of exercise options, including a mechanical bicycle bolted to the floor, a weightlifting machine strapped to the wall, and a strap-down treadmill. ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.