Are Lightning Fires Unnatural? a Comparison of Aboriginal and Lightning Ignition Rates in the United States

  • Kay C
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Abstract

It is now widely acknowledged that frequent, low-intensity fires once structured many plant communities. Despite an abundance of ethnographic evidence, however, as well as a growing body of ecological data, many professionals still tend to minimize the importance of aboriginal burning compared to that of lightning-caused fires. Based on fire occurrence data (1970-2002) provided by the National Interagency Fire Center, I calculated the number of lightning fires/million acres (400,000 ha) per year for every national forest in the United States. Those values range from a low of

Author-supplied keywords

  • aboriginal burning
  • anthropogenic
  • fire
  • indian burning
  • lightning-caused fires
  • lightning-fire ignition rates
  • potential aboriginal ignition rates
  • united states

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Authors

  • C E Kay

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