Robert Bell

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n/a (1841-1917)

Publications in Fire Ecology

Forest Fires in Northern Canada, with an Introduction by Martin E. Alexander
Pages: 1-10
DOI: 10.4996/fireecology.0801001

I consider Dr. Robert Bell (1841-1917) to be the father of boreal forest fire ecology and fire behaviour in Canada. It is thus a very great honor to have been asked to recommend the article that follows and then have the privilege to write this introduction to it.

I first began to learn of Dr. Bell’s writings back in 1976 soon after I was hired on as a forest fire research officer with the Canadian Forestry Service at the Great Lakes Forest Research Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. I had intended someday to write an article about Dr. Bell and his observations regarding forest fires in the northern regions of Canada, considered “so astute that most can still stand today, more or less unrevised” (Pyne 2007). Instead, I turned my Bell collec­tion over to Dr. Steve Pyne in February 2002 with the hope that he could make good use of the materials as he undertook to chronicle the cultural history of forest fires in Canada, which he admirably did in a section of his book, Awful Splendour: A Fire History of Canada (Pyne 2007: 146-154, 494-495).  [Read More]

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