Three Kinds of Forest Fires.
There are, generally speaking, three kinds of forest fires. One is the running of flames through the fallen leaves over damp ground. Such a fire burns up the leaves and fallen twigs and kills the undergrowth to some extent, but does little damage, save to birds and rabbits in their nests. They are usually “spring” fires, and die out at the first brook or downgrade. Another kind reaches into the tree-tons, and is so hot that trees are killed, and even burned. Such fires ravaged Canadian towns this summer, and they are most to be feared in the evergreens—in the spruce and pine forests. It was this sort that destroyed Long Lake West in the Adirondaeks on September 27, Such a fire may, or may not, eat into the duff, or forest debris soil. The third type of fire cats through the soil of humus, decayed leaves, twins, and fallen trees, bums the tree roots and denudes the very rocks. This last type leaves nothing inflammable behind it. There are hundreds of acres of Adirondaeks region where it is years before lone poplars and blackberry briars find root. All three types of fires were recently in the Adirondaeks within a week, and it is impossible to give more than an approximate estimate of the area burned over in the twenty-five days of fire. Perhaps 400,000 acres of land were burned over this year, as compared with (xxi.ooo in 1903. The direct money loss, all told, may be more than $2,500,000. The indirect damage through destruction of waterpower preserve lands, floods, etc., mav amount to $100,000 a year for twenty years. Although most of the fires were started by railroad engines, others were incendiary without question.