Wildfire During a Drought? It Can Still Benefit Forests

In the summer of 2011, lightning struck a ridge near High Peak Mountain, on the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. The High Peak Wildfire began. “It’s a remote and rugged area, and we were in the middle of a severe drought,” says Virginia McDaniel, a USDA Forest Service forestry technician, who led a study on…  More 

Firesetting Arrests Reduce Future Intentional Fires

New research by the USDA Forest Service explores how law enforcement efforts might impact future incidents of arson. “We found very little documented research on whether arrests, as a distinct measure of law enforcement efforts, are linked to reductions in the occurrence of intentional fires or whether such efforts have broader impacts across space and…  More 

Cigarettes are Causing Fewer Wildfires, but Why?

  The number of wildfires caused by cigarettes has fallen drastically. “Since 1980, smoking-caused wildfires fell by 90 percent,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist Jeffrey Prestemon. “Until recently, little has been known about why, and other causes of wildfire have not experienced this level of decline.” Prestemon, project leader of the…  More