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Fire Ecology, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 1

The Present Status of Fire Ecology, Traditional Use of Fire, and Fire Management in Mexico and Central America
Authors: Dante Arturo Rodríguez-Trejo, Pedro Arturo Martínez-Hernández, Hector Ortiz-Contla, Manuel Román Chavarría-Sánchez, and Faustino Hernández-Santiago
Pages: 40-56
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0701040

Traditionally, forest fires in Mexico, the Caribe, and Central America have been perceived, by both urban and some rural societies and government agencies, only as destructive phenomena. Certainly 40 % of forest fires originate from agricultural and pastoral practices. However, there are many native rural communities that make a refined use of fire, harmonizing food production and care for the environment. In the past couple of decades, however, a slight and gradual change in perspective has occurred, such that for fire managers, preserves managers, researchers, and non-government organizations, the fire ecology as well as the management of fire by rural communities have been incorporated into what is now referred to as “integral fire management.” This term may be defined as the fusion of firefighting and prevention with the ecological use of fire and community fire management in order to preserve nature and to make the land productive. In initiating the implementation of integrated fire management, key roles have been played by national and regional governmental agencies, international and regional non-governmental agencies, as well as research universities and institutes.

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