Effect of Slope on Forest Fires

Effect of Slope on Forest Fires

On south slopes of mountains and hills the per cent, of destructive fires is twice as great as on north slopes and three and a half times as great as on level land, states S. B. Shaw, Forest Examiner, after an exhaustive study of the subject in California, as quoted by “The Forest Patrolman,” Portland, Ore. He also has found that in the early and late parts of the fire season a very high per cent, of all fires occur on the south slopes, while during the peak of the fire season north and south slopes are about equally represented; that during a period of years 65% more fires have occurred on south slopes than on north slopes and, on the average, fires occur on north slopes only 80% as often as on south. The east and west slopes in the state occupy an intermediate position between north and south slopes. It is claimed, at least as a partial cause, that the higher percentage of fires on south slopes is due to the greater proportion of brush fields because fires in brush spread more rapidly than in timber, and there is more moisture on north slopes than on south ones.

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