Initial effects from re-introducing fire in Alabama montane longleaf stands: fifty years since last burnThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In 2006, after more than fifty years with no burns, the National Park Service reintroduced fire in montane longleaf pine stands at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park in central AL. Residual longleaf pine stands indicates that this tree once dominated many slopes. The prolonged period of fire exclusion resulted in accumulation of duff and litter that exceeds 4 to 5 inches in places; especially heavy loads were found at bases of residual longleaf pine (50-80 year old). In an effort to minimize injury to adult longleaf from smoldering fire, heading and flanking ignition patterns were recommended. In addition, selected tree bases were soaked with approximately 50 gallon of water a day prior to the burn. Preliminary evaluation indicates that this treatment was effective but costly. Recent observations suggest that, even under moderate weather conditions and moist duff, backing fires have high potential for smoldering near large trees.