Fire Ecology, 2014
Volume 10, Issue 3
The Ecological Role of Fire in Natural Conifer Forests of Western and Northern North America—Introduction, with an Introduction by Martin E. Alexander
Authors: Herbert E. Wright, Jr and Miron L. Heinselman
When the public forests were established in the early years of this century, one of the first actions was the creation of a system for the detection and suppression of fires. Public forests became dotted with fire towers, and over the years the lore and loneliness of the fireguard became legend.
Fire-suppression methods changed as technology developed. The catastrophes common in the early years became less frequent, as fires were efficiently spotted and put under control. Routine air patrol replaced the fire tower. Helicopters are now used to deploy fire fighters, equipment, and supplies. New chemicals and tools have been developed to fight the flames, climax was visualized as a long-term equilibrium between the vegetation and a stable physical environment.