Forests, Fire and You

The health and sustainability of the South’s forests are dependent on fire management. State forestry agencies are responsible for protecting 94% of the total land area in the South from wildfire.

Wildfire in the South

The South has the highest number of wildfires per year of any region in the United States with an average of 68,000 wildfires burning a total of approximately 938,000 acres per year. In 2006, the South had more than 50 percent of all wildfires reported in the nation.

The number of fires by year (2002-2006) for geographic areas of the United States
Number of fires by year (2002-2006) for geographic areas of the United States (Source: Fire in the South 2)

More than 100 million acres in the South are classified as having moderate to extreme potential for wildfire occurrence. To address the significant wildfire problem in the South, SGSF conducted a Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment. Fire in the South 2 presents comprehensive information on southern wildfire situation, explains the objectives of the Southern Wildfire Risk Assessment, and demonstrates through case studies some of its practical application.

 

Prescribed Fire in the South

A modern principal of wise land stewardship is the careful and professional application of prescribed fire.

Long ago, when our nation had few people, the forces of nature governed the land and wild ecosystems adapted and thrived. One of those forces was frequent fire, which periodically cleaned out forest habitats and prevented the buildup of dead plants and trees that can lead to devastating wildfires.

Today, it is up to us to wisely care for our remaining natural lands. Our forests give us so much — clean air and water, habitat for wildlife, a place to escape and reconnect with the wonder of unspoiled nature. But forests no longer can depend on the forces of nature alone. They need our help to continue to thrive.

Prescribed Fire... A safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health, and reduce wildfire risk. These #GoodFires can protect our forests.

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