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Indigenous fire stewardship


A.C. Christianson



Publication type:

Book Chapter

Primary Station(s):

Pacific Southwest Research Station


Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires


This chapter addresses Indigenous Fire Stewardship and cultural burning using several case studies applicable to wildland fire management in the Wildland-Urban Interface. Indigenous fire stewardship practices had the highest influence around settlements (e.g. permanent villages, seasonal camps) and travel corridors (i.e. trails and roads) that linked with more intensively managed habitats containing food, material-fiber/basketry, wildlife/prey, and other desired resources. Frequent and diversified Indigenous burning coupled with natural ignitions reduced fuel loading, which often lowered the intensity and resultant severity of subsequent fires. As such, lower fuel load continuity, increased proportion of fire-adapted vegetation, and heterogeneous habitats (mosaics) greatly reduced the threat of and impacts of non-desired wildfires.


Lake, F.K.; Christianson, A.C. 2019. Indigenous fire stewardship. In: S. L. Manzello, ed. Encyclopedia of Wildfires and Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fires. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham. 9 p.


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