burn as vigorously as softwoods, creating natural wildfire breaks.
Plus, the South, Midwest and East
do not have the strong winds, like the
Santa Ana winds in California. Plus, the
flatness and easy accessibility to many
of the forests in case of wildfire helps.
Also, the harvesting cycle in the South
for much of the forestland is 30 years
or less for pines. Large expanses of old,
tall, even-aged stands are not common.
Protecting property from fire
There are many regulations regarding
the location of dwellings and other
structures within the forest or other
wildfire-prone regions such as brushy
areas in California. (In California,
brush on non-forest lands can be 15
feet tall. This brush burns well and
provides a link between forests in a
It makes sense perhaps that areas
around the dwellings should be
cleared of flammable material. But of
course, “being in the woods” is why the
house site was chosen in the first place.
House roofs should be made with non--flammable materials, for example.
Such regulations are often more
political and without much effect with
moderate and larger wildfires. In
truth, when living in the forests, we
seem to forget the risk of wildfires. In
fact, many locations do not have two
or more emergency exit routes. The remoteness of living in the woods makes
Timber stand improvement
Every time a forest burns, in addition
to the loss of life and loss of property,
we are losing timber that could have
been harvested and used for home
building and other myriads of uses.
The cost of Timber Stand Improve-
ment (TSI) is not cheap, so in the
short term outlook, most TSI work,
especially on federal forests, directed
at controlling fires is not done. In the
larger picture, TSI needs to be done
and the payback benefit is huge. ;
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