Study on Swedish wildfires shows how to make forests rise from the ashes

A firefighter is pictured near Seglingsberg, in Västmanland, Central Sweden, on August 6, 2014. (Maja Suslin/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire has destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of forest in Sweden in recent years, and now landowners are learning more about what it takes to get the timber growing again as fast as possible.

After a four-year study of the huge fire in Västmanland in 2014 the national Forestry Agency says you need to get planting much earlier than was thought.

Jonas Bergqvist is a forestry specialist at the agency. He says you need to get back to work as soon as you have the time and the energy, otherwise there’s a risk that the timber plantations will be hit by new dangers.

Hungry elks and deer are quick to return to the areas devastated by fire. This increases the risk that young trees will be nibbled up by these animals.

Also if a burnt out area is left open then other kinds of trees, broad-leafs like birch, will quickly enjoy the new open skies to grow up quickly. In Sweden the landowners would rather have Scots pine, which is a source of much of the timber sold in Scandinavia.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Northern Alberta wildfire cuts rail link between Canada’s central Arctic and the south, CBC News

Finland: Better wildfire & agriculture management among recommendations from Arctic Council black carbon expert group, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: Forest fires rage across Barents region (July 2018), The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Is Sweden better prepared after last year’s historic wildfire season?, Radio Sweden

Lisen Elowson Tosting and Loukas Christodoulou, Radio Sweden

For more news from Sweden visit Radio Sweden.

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