U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 52, June 2009


US Government work.


Although high-intensity fire has been studied extensively in the forests of the Great Lakes region, the role of low-intensity fi re in stands of eastern white pine has received almost no study. For this project, scientists and mangers teamed up in northern Wisconsin to fi nd out what low-intensity fire means for white pine regeneration and fuels reduction. Surprisingly, there was no white pine regeneration in the burn units even fi ve years after fi re. But low-intensity prescribed fi re triggered a very strong understory response in terms of cover and richness, and can likely be used to support a wide variety of management objectives. It’s also likely that moderate-intensity prescribed fi re can be used safely to reduce fuels in these northern ecosystems that have a white pine component.