The Effect of Repeated Forest Fires upon the Re-
production of Commercial Species in Peter-
borough County, Ontario
C. D. HOwE, Ph.D.
OBJECT OF THE WORK AND THE CONCLUSIONS IN BRIEF
D URING the summer of 1912, while engaged in a survey of the forest conditions of the Trent watershed, Ontario, the writer attempted to secure an insight into the amount of damage occasioned by forest fires. The result of this incidental, and somewhat superficial, work, presented in the report* of the Commission of Conservation, was such as to make a closer and more detailed investigation of a smaller area appear desirable The writer was, therefore, engaged by the Commission to make such an investigation.
At the outset, it may be stated that the general results obtained in 1912 have been fully substantiated by the detail work carried on in 1913. While, in 1912, the total loss, as the result of repeated fires, was figured at over $12,000,000 on a territory of 620,000 acres, or practically $20 per acre, the loss on the 85,000 acres more closely investigated during the following year could be estimated at around $3,000,-000, or $35 per acre—a loss that could have been prevented, to a large extent, by more effective fire protection.
A more detailed statement of the conditions on the Burleigh-Methuen area, investigated in 1913, shows that the areas burned only once now have 110 young pine trees on the average acre; the areas burned twice, 14; areas burned three times, seven trees, and those burned many times, three pine trees per acre. (See p. 190).
Assuming that the areas burned twice had been burned only once, and that they had been restocked with pine by natural processes at the
*Treat Watershed Survey. Commission of Conservation, Canada, Ottawa, 1913.