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FOREST FIRES AND BRUSH DISPOSAL,   161

regulations as the Board of Forest Commissioners shall prescribe, which shall be only such as the board deems necessary for the protection of life and property.

In considering methods of slash disposal in the past, the element of cost has figured largely, and the method of slash disposal has been to fire the cut-over areas when weather conditions were favourable.

On account of the abundant rainfall, the burning season is limited, especially west of the Cascade mountains, where the heaviest bodies of timber are situated.

Spring and autumn burnings are advocated. While spring burning is not as thorough as it is later in the season, the areas burned over reduce the amount of inflammable material and lessen the fire risk, if precaution be taken to extinguish the smouldering fires that result from such burning.

With such large areas of timber lands being cut-over each year in the state of Washington, the fire hazard has been on the increase. And with the season for successful burning on an extensive scale limited to the dry season, every effort must be made to burn slashings whenever it is possible and safe to do so.

Every slashing successfully burned over reduces the fire hazard, and the burned-over area acts as backfire guards that will prevent the spread of other fires that may occur.

The lumber operators are learning that it pays to systematically burn over their holdings after the merchantable timber has been removed. They realize that the element of fire risk is very great during the dry season, not only from their own operations but from cut-over lands of other operators which have been left unburned, and they are earnestly considering forest fire protection.

The additional cost of burning is insignificant when compared with the results gained by the reduced hazard to property from accidental fires.

Logging operators and millmen are realizing the importance of burning more and more each year and are making the burning over of their logged-off lands a systematic part of their operations. This has been brought about by the earnest and constant advocating of such burning by the State Forester and Fire Warden of this State, and by the Chief Fire Warden of the Washington Forest Fire Association, as well as by the experience gained from personal loss by forest fire, in equipment, saw-logs and standing timber.

In regard to the effect of brush disposal on forest reproduction, it has been observed that the areas burned of brush, etc., reproduce the better species of original forest growth; where unburned, the inferior species reproduce.

11-c. c.


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