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EFFECT OF REPEATED FOREST FIRES   201

have been so often and so severely burned that the value of the poplar is less by $196,645 than if there had been only one burning. This should be charged to the fire account, so that adding it to the $2,800,000 loss of pine, we have a total loss of practically $3,000,000 from fires which have occurred in the past 25 years on 85,000 acres (including swamps. and other conditions), or $35 an acre.

 

FIRE PROTECTION

Adequate protection from fire is the necessary preliminary stage to any management of the area under consideration for future re-turns. There has been no lumbering on a large scale in this region for nearly 25 years. Since that time, judged by the number of fires, there has been little or no real fire protection. Deducting the swampy areas within the former pineries, it was found that, of the area actually burned, only one-third has escaped with a single burning since lumbering has been discontinued; another third has been burned twice; one-sixth has been burned three times, and one-sixth has been burned many times. The most severe and widespread fires occurred 25, 16, 8, 5, and 1 year ago, or in other words, there were three destructive fires in the past eight years and one each in the two former eight-year periods, an increase in rate of 300 per cent in the past eight years. If this rate continues, the young pine and poplar at present on the area will inevitably be destroyed. As shown on pages 199 and 200 this would involve a further loss of $2,275,000 in existing potential stumpage and dues values of pine and potential stumpage values of poplar, in addition to the above $3,000,000 loss already irrevocably incurred. It would seem worth while from a business point of view to save this $2,275.000 if possible.

Forest   Officials, and the public in general, assume a rather

Protection fatalistic attitude toward the occurrence of forest Can be Secured fires. They are considered to be inevitable and unavoidable phenomena, like earthquakes and tornadoes. Such an attitude of mind perpetuates many an economic waste, one of the greatest of which is the destruction of forest wealth, present or potential, by fire. Experience has demonstrated that forest fires can be reduced to a minimum at a reasonable rate of expenditure, compared with the value of the property involved. As an example of this, the co-operative forest fire protective associations in the province of Quebec may be cited, where fairly efficient protection of large areas costs from one-quarter of a cent to one cent per acre per year. In order to accomplish this, however, two things are necessary: (1) An earnest desire to prevent fires, through a real appreciation of the value of the pro-


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