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: Space station's 3-D printer pops out first creation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

What do wildfires have to do with climate change?

Oct 14, 2014

As the western U.S. faces its third year of severe drought, firefighters are still battling two large fires in California. The state, which is experiencing its worst drought since record keeping began in ...

Agricultural fires blaze in Borneo

Sep 26, 2014

The skies over Indonesian Borneo were filled with the smoke from hundreds of fires set deliberately to clear farmland. A shroud of thick, gray smoke hung over the area when the Aqua satellite captured this ...

Recommended for you

Iridium flares captured in real time by astrophotographer

6 hours ago

There are so many fun sights to see in the sky that are pure astronomical magic. And then there are the spectacular human-created sights. One of those sights is watching satellites from the Iridium constellation ...

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.