Silva Fennica : quarterly issues : 30(2–3) : sa3023353.htm

Jari Parviainen. 1996.

Impact of fire on Finnish forest in the past and today

Silva Fennica 30(2–3): 353–359

Nearly every forest stand in Finland has been burnt down by a wildfire at least once during the past 400–500 years. Slash and burn cultivation (1700–1920) was practised on 50–75 percent of Finland’s forests, while prescribed burning (1920–1990) has been applied to 2–3 percent of the country’s forests. Because of land-use changes and efficient fire prevention and control systems, the occurrence of wildfires in Finland has decreased considerably during the past few decades. Owing to the biodiversity and ecologically favourable influence of fire, the current tendency is to revive the use of controlled fire in forestry in Finland. Prescribed burning is used in forest regeneration and endeavours are being made to revert old conservation forests to the starting point of succession through forest fires.

forest biodiversity, wildfires, slash and burn cultivation, prescribed burning

The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Station, P.O. Box 68, 80101 Joensuu, Finland. Fax +358 73 151 4111, E-mail

Received 1 June 1996 Accepted 17 June 1996
ISSN 0037-5330