As we all know wildfires have been running rampant in the Western United States especially in Oregon, Washington State, Arizona, California and New Mexico. Most of these catastrophic fires are almost entirely preventable using prescribed fire, thinning and other good forestry practices as in the Stoddard-Neel method adapted to specific regions of the globe. Now along with hot dry weather in Europe catastrophic wildfires have moved into Northern Europe specifically Sweden. In Sweden these catastrophic fires like in the Western United States, Australia and China are mostly preventable using good forest management and prescribed fire.
In Sweden, Press TV reports. "Sweden is fighting a huge forest fire raging in central part of the country as officials say the wildfire is the worst in Scandinavia in 40 years.
The Wall Street Journal reports, "Forest fires are a risk we tend to associate primarily with Southern Europe, but we are seeing that no country is immune," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. "Let us hope that our biggest fear of the blaze spreading to urban areas will not materialize."
The important thing to understand is that these catastrophic wildfires are being caused by decades of fire exclusion and fire suppression in light fire ecosystems that need light cool fires to survive and flourish. When fire is excluded, forest debris accumulates and the situation made worse by forest trees growing too close together without natural thinning by light fires.
The article Fire Ecology of Scots pine in North-West Europe states, "Based on the good regeneration and for the purpose of fuel load reduction in areas with increased fire hazard, the prescribed burning of Scots pine stands should be reconsidered. Controlled forest fires could be used as an additional silvicultural technique to regenerate and transform single-species pine stands into mixed and more natural forests.
According to the Index of Species Information, Scots Pine in Sweden is replaced by Norway spruce in the higher elevations where fire is less frequent. This article pretty much sums it up in regards to the wildfire problem in Sweden and other Northern European countries where Scots Pine is prevalent.
"FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Scots pine forests in Sweden are rated as fire-prone and appear to require repeated fire for their maintenance . In general, pine
forests in Europe (particularly Scots pine forests) which were always fire-prone have become even more flammable with the advent of fire exclusion and the discontinuance of the practice of litter collection for use as animal bedding material, fuel, etc. .
In Sweden, Scots pine dominates forests that have burned with a mean fire interval of 46 years from approximately 1,100 A.D. to the present. In some areas, the mean fire interval is as short as 30 years, although the impact of fire has been greatly reduced in the last 100 years with fire suppression . A fire return interval ranging from 26 to 146 years was calculated for Scots pine/heather forests in eastern Finland . In the taiga of northern China, the fire cycle for Scots pine forests was estimated at 130 years .
The number of years between fires decreased in areas where Scots pine basal area increased in Muddus National Park, Sweden. In this area, Scots pine often predominates at the lower elevations where fire is more common and is replaced by Norway spruce at the higher elevations where fire is less frequent ."
One would think that the mainstream press would take the trouble to do a little research on the Internet before they buy into the false and misleading information that global warming advocates put out. It's the same for the public land management agencies that blame fire, drought, arson, lightning, terrorists etc., everything but their own flawed fire management culture. A good example is this article from Climate Central on wildfire that got around 150 shares on Facebook, but only has a slight mention of fuel loads as they falsely try to put the blame for the increase of catastrophic fire worldwide on global warming.
To learn more about the importance of fire in nature, my book Fire in Nature, A Fire Activists Guide is free on its website. If you read this important new cutting edge book you will learn more than you ever wanted to learn about the importance of fire in nature. J In the Western United States and Australia the book might even save you and your home from catastrophic wildfire, as you and your neighborhood learn ways to mitigate the danger from catastrophic wildfire. I can be reached and or follow me on Twitter. https://twitter.com/EdKomarek